The Sabres couldn't overcome two bad bounces

Buffalo goes into the nine-day break with five wins in eight games

Paul Hamilton
January 19, 2020 - 2:26 am

Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports


Nashville, TN (WGR 550) - The Sabres go into the break picking up 10 of 16 points. The 2-1 loss on Saturday in Nashville was nothing to be ashamed about as both teams had numerous scoring chances and both Linus Ullmark and Pekka Rinne stood on their heads.

Ullmark gave up two goals, one went in off Zach Bogosian’s shin pad and the other hit the bar came back and went off the back of Ullmark’s leg and in.

Buffalo couldn’t get those bounces as Kyle Okposo took a 2-on-1 pass from Zemgus Girgensons and hit the crossbar, while Jack Eichel was allowed to take a lap in the Nashville zone and hit the post.

It took the Sabres 12:08 to get their first shot on net and it was a beauty as Johan Larsson was robbed by Rinne on a tip from the point.

Buffalo couldn’t score on the power play, but had two really good looks. Both Marcus Johansson and Conor Sheary had wide open one-timers and partially fanned making for two easy saves by Rinne.

The Sabres did get the puck to cross the line for a second time, but Okposo pushed Rinne and the puck into the net. Okposo confirmed after the game that the no goal call was the correct call.

Buffalo played even, or better than Nashville for a lot of this game. The first 12 minutes were all Predators, and the last 10 minutes Buffalo overstayed some shifts and Nashville spent most of the final eight minutes in the Buffalo end.

The last three road games in Detroit, Dallas and Nashville showed me that this team can play a better brand of hockey away from the arena, and they’ll have to in March.

The Sabres won’t play again until Jan. 28, and almost all of February is at home. Not only will they be home, but they’ll be playing some very winnable games. Some of the home schedule will include Ottawa, Montreal, Detroit, Anaheim, Detroit again, Columbus twice and Winnipeg.

On Saturday, only one game went the Sabres way. That was Toronto losing at home to Chicago. Despite being tied with Florida at 57 points, the Leafs loss dropped them out of the playoffs. Buffalo trails both teams by six points and are tied with Montreal.

In the Wild Card, the Sabres are seven points behind Columbus and Philadelphia, and are six back of Carolina.

One player will have a little time off before heading to St. Louis for the NHL All-Star Game. Jack Eichel is the Sabres' only representative. Eichel had his nine-game point streak snapped in Nashville.   

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