Final: BUF- 2 VAN- 4
Shots On Goal: BUF- 22 VAN- 41
Power Play: BUF- 0/4 VAN- 0/3
Hits: BUF- 17 VAN- 7
Blocked Shots: BUF- 13 VAN- 10
BUF: Justin Bailey (2) assisted by Ryan O’Reilly (3) and Kyle Okposo (1)
VAN: Markus Grandlund (1) assisted by Derek Dorsett (1) and Brandon Sutter (1)
BUF: Jack Eichel (3) assisted by Rasmus Ristolainen (4) and Marco Scandella (1)
VAN: Derek Dorsett (3) assisted by Brandon Sutter (2) and Chris Tanev (2)
VAN: Daniel Sedin (2) assisted by Henrik Sedin (3) and Jake Virtanen (1)
VAN: Derek Dorsett (4) assisted by Markus Granlund (1) and Michael Del Zotto (5)
The Sabres, in their first game back from the west coast, came out hot in the first minute with Justin Bailey scoring his second goal since being called up. Bailey finished off a great pass by Ryan O’Reilly who is still looking to find his game.
Everything went downhill for the Sabres from there as they were outshot 17-5 in the first period. 11:56 into the period Markus Granlund evened the game but the Canucks couldn’t cash in on their other chances. The Canucks controlled the puck for most of the period and set up camp in the Sabres zone for a considerable amount of time. The Sabres on the other hand struggled to get anything going on offense and couldn’t hold possession for any long period of time.
Jack Eichel decided to take things into his own hands late in the first with an end to end rush which resulted in Ben Huttons jock strap ending up in the 300s and Jacob Markstrom questioning his goaltending abilities. In all seriousness, Eichel looked like the superstar that he is on this goal. The confidence and skill to pull that move are really unbelievable.
The Sabres followed up a poor first period by somehow playing even worse in the second. The Sabres gave up their SIXTH, I repeat SIXTH shorthanded goal this season as Derek Dorsett scored off a rebound after a bad pinch by Beaulieu. Only a couple minutes later the Canucks scored a controversial goal as Jake Virtanen played it to Henrik Sedin who got it to his brother Daniel finishing with the goal.
Phil Housley used his coaches challenge but somehow the it was concluded that Jake Virtanen had possession across the blue line even though he didn’t touch the puck until after his skate had crossed the blue line.
Bad call or not the Sabres still were significantly outplayed in the second period getting outshot 20-8. The team played slow with no passion. Eichel and Bailey were the only players that played with some heart.
The Sabres couldn’t pull off the same performance in the third as they had in Vegas as they never really got anything going. The Sabres continued their sloppy play and generated only a couple of chances. Once again offensive zone time was minimal. It was a boring period to end a disappointing performance for the Sabres that desperately need to get wins.
The Sabres played one of their worst games in recent years. It was that bad. The offense, defense, PK, and PP all were horrendous tonight. Sabres fans are lucky they have Jack Eichel because if not there wouldn’t be a reason to watch these games. Whether or not Phil Housley’s system is the issue, the lack of effort from the Sabres squad seems more problematic to me. This team has glaring holes and there are no immediate answers.
The Sabres will have a chance to rebound tomorrow night in Boston.
Thanks for reading and be sure to follow @SabresFanatics on Twitter and Instagram!