The Sabres lose in overtime to the floundering Flames

The chances to win were there, but they couldn't convert

Paul Hamilton
November 27, 2019 - 10:17 pm
Linus Ullmark

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Both teams came into this game struggling, and in the first 40 minutes, both teams played it very carefully. Yes, there were some scoring chances, but they were kept at a minimum.

David Rittich had to make consecutive saves on Jeff Skinner, who was skating very well in this game. Skinner had another partial breakaway that Linus Ullmark set him up on, passing the puck over three lines. The line didn’t look like much in the morning, but I have to admit, Skinner with Conor Sheary and Johan Larsson worked pretty well.  They were Buffalo’s best line.

After the game, Skinner was very frustrated. He was very happy with playing with Larsson, and said the center made his job easy. Skinner had seven shot opportunities, but missed the net on three of them. All three were very good scoring chances. Skinner simply stated that it's his job to finish those chances.

Rasmus Asplund did a nice job of causing a turnover while killing a penalty and walked in and hit the post. He did it again in the second period and Jimmy Vesey found himself with the puck and a breakaway. Vesey made no mistake scoring his second goal in two games. The assist was Asplund’s first NHL point. Asplund was Buffalo's best player, yet he wasn't one of the three stars.

Sam Reinhart had a great chance to give the Sabres the lead on the power play, but he hit the post.  

The Sabres had a very good third period and put plenty of heat on Rittich. Victor Olofsson came through the left circle and just flicked his wrist and ripped home his ninth of the sesason. That gave Buffalo a 2-1 lead, but as usual lately, they couldn’t hold it.

A bouncing puck around Linus Ullmark was tapped in by Matthew Tkachuk and in overtime, Rasmus Ristolainen lost his man and Elias Lindholm came out and won the game. Ralph Krueger said, “We need to stay more man-on-man focused.” He also pointed to Ristolainen getting caught in a long shift. Ristolainen’s shift lasted all of the 1:17 played in overtime.

I thought Wednesday was a good bounce back game for Jake McCabe. The alternate captain was a healthy scratch at Tampa Bay and was very active offensively, and under control defensively playing with Henri Jokiharju. It helps McCabe when he’s not on the top pair playing too many minutes and going up against the other team’s best players.

That’s four games in a row where the Sabres played very well in large parts of the game, but in the end they only picked up three out of eight points.

Buffalo has a 4:00 game Friday at home against Toronto.

I hope you all have a great Turkey Day!

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