The Sabres had a chance to win in Toronto, but couldn't shine in key spots

In the end, it was the same old story for Buffalo

Paul Hamilton
March 02, 2019 - 10:36 pm

Photo: John E. Sokolowski - USA TODAY Sports


Toronto, ON (WGR 550) - The Sabres got behind to the Leafs, but then came at Freddie Andersen and netted two goals in 1:34 to take the lead.

Jason Pominville is one of the Sabres forwards that is willing to be around the crease and it paid off for him when a puck slid through Andersen.

Conor Sheary then setup Nikita Zaitsev as a screen and whipped home his third goal in two games.

That’s where a good team has to push and get that third goal. You’re playing the high-flying Toronto Maple Leafs at home. Jeff Skinner gets stopped in front, Sam Reinhart goes in alone and hits the post and a late power play produced absolutely nothing. They hardly even got the puck in.

You have to get that third goal and make the home team uncomfortable. Instead, the well covered Morgan Reilly breaks free from coverage on the blue line and fired one at Ullmark. Patrick Marleau gets position, pretty much in Ullmark’s lap, and stops his glove from moving forward. I think it was a huge mistake by Phil Housley not to challenge that goal. Who cares if you lose your time out. That is a huge goal in the game and he needs to try to get it off the board.

Rasmus Ristolainen lost a battle to little Trevor Moore in the corner and Casey Mittelstadt failed to cover Nic Petan in front, which then put the Sabres behind. Ristolainen is supposed to be your best defenseman, but yet there he was once again making a play that his team can’t have him making in a 2-2 game. He doesn’t sense danger around him and it kills this team.

It doesn’t end there as bad luck strikes. Brandon Montour has his man tied up pretty well in front, but the puck goes in off his skate, so now you have 20 minutes to try to win a game that had been there for the taking.

Buffalo had 20 shots on Andersen in the third period, but couldn’t beat him. He had two or three more pucks scoot by him, but there was never a Sabre around the crease to take advantage.

This team failed again to win two straight games. They haven’t done it since mid-December .That’s why we’re in March and this team isn’t playing meaningful games.

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