Sabres' special teams gets them beaten again

Buffalo gives up a power play goal and a shorthanded goal in the loss to Calgary

Paul Hamilton
December 06, 2019 - 12:26 am
Linus Ullmark

Photo: Candice Ward - USA TODAY Sports

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(WGR 550) - If you looked at the final score in Calgary on Thursday and the shots on goal, you would’ve thought it was a great, even game. The Flames won 4-3 and the shots were 29-29, but it really wasn’t a good game.

The Sabres played for maybe 25 minutes, at the most, in this game and were lucky it was close. Trailing 4-1 late in the game, Buffalo woke up and charged the Calgary net. Jake McCabe and Jack Eichel scored 1:56 apart on David Rittich to make it look respectable.

The Sabres had a really nice first period and scored just 3:29 in when Sam Reinhart made a difficult tip of a Rasmus Ristolainen shot. Buffalo was doing well until Jeff Skinner took a careless high sticking penalty, and Johnny Gaudreau used Zach Bogosian as a screen to tie it before intermission.

Buffalo had stretches in the second period where they were getting run over and couldn’t get the puck out of their own end. There were way too many turnovers, and the Flames were killing them with Noah Hanifin and Mark Giordano jumping into the play.

The biggest thing was the special teams. Calgary got a shorthanded goal when Henri Jokiharju just put his head down and drilled a shot right into Derek Ryan’s shin pads. That sent Tobias Rieder in alone for the goal.

Buffalo went 1-for-8 on the power play and blew two 5-on-3 situations without even getting a scoring chance. The one power play goal came with 48 second left in the game by Jack Eichel on a 6-on-4. The goal extended Eichel’s point streak to 11 games.

As bad as Buffalo’s power play has been this season, Thursday in Calgary was the absolute worst. Pass after pass was in the players' skates or right to a Flame. That was the worst passing the Sabres have had on the power play all season.

Bogosian and Skinner were on the ice for three of Calgary’s four goals. The coaching staff could see it wasn’t Bogosian’s night as he only got 14:34 of ice-time.

In the second period, Linus Ullmark was under siege and made many huge saves. If it wasn’t for Ullmark, Calgary could’ve has six or seven goals.

The Sabres go 0-1-1 against the Flames this season.

Buffalo gets back at it again on Saturday afternoon in Vancouver.

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