Sabres only played 18 good minutes and it cost them the game

Anaheim took the game away by hitting the Sabres

Paul Hamilton
October 17, 2019 - 1:18 am

Photo: Gary A. Vasquez - USA TODAY Sports


(WGR 550) - It’s amazing how a team can come out and play so well for the first 18 minutes of the game and then just hand it right back in the second period.

Buffalo came out flying to start, and if it wasn’t for John Gibson, they could’ve scored four or five goals. The Sabres were on every loose puck, winning every battle and were skating well, and went out in front 2-0.

The first goal was a great effort by Jack Eichel. He blocked a shot by Josh Manson, then stole the puck from him and skated in behind him. Eichel cut through the left circle, held the puck for just the right time and Gibson had no chance.

The 2-0 goal came on the power play when Jeff Skinner and Sam Reinhart out-worked the Ducks down low and Reinhart sent a slick pass to Victor Olofsson, who had an open net.

Gibson was forced into thievery, robbing Evan Rodrigues, Johan Larsson twice at the end of a penalty kill, as well as Reinhart and Olofsson.

Anaheim appeared to have scored when Rasmus Dahlin stepped up into the middle of the ice leaving a lane for the Ducks to score on a 2-on-1. Ralph Krueger challenged for the first time all season and won as Anaheim was offside.

The Ducks were really taking over the game at that point, and they got one that counted as Dahlin had very poor coverage on Adam Henrique, who tipped in his third of the season.

Gibson made 17 saves in the period, but had a pretty easy night after that. Anaheim decided it was going to hit the Sabres with clean and dirty shots with absolutely no response. Buffalo started turning the puck over with regularity, and the passing went from great to horrendous.

The chippy play led to eight Buffalo power plays, but the Sabres could only capitalize on one of them. I thought some of the dumb penalties Anaheim took put their lead in danger, but the Sabres went quietly.

I have to admit, I never would’ve guessed when the game was 2-0 that Buffalo would give up five straight goals. There was really only one that Ullmark should’ve had, but there never should’ve been a shot as Rodrigues was next to the Anaheim player, but never covered him.

I think this was just one of those nights for the Sabres. They are still 5-1-1 and have only played two poor games all year.

They get right back at it on Thursday night in Los Angeles.

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