Score – BUF: 1 FLA: 4
Shots – BUF: 25 FLA: 31
PP – BUF: 1/2 FLA: 0/3
Hits – BUF: 23 FLA: 16
G: Kyle Okposo [PP] (2) A: Antipin (2) Kane (7)
The first was a little dull but the Sabres looked good and managed to kill off a penalty and apply pressure on the Panthers. Larsson drew a hooking penalty that sent the Sabres to their first powerplay of the game.
The powerplay was very bad for the first minute but then Kane made a nice pass from the half wall back to Antipin on the point who fired a wrister that Okposo managed to redirect past Luongo to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead.
Late in the period Lehner made a huge toe save on a Vrbata breakaway that came off a brutal tournover by Antipin the save was Lehner’s best in a very strong performance by Lehner in the first period.
With 1:27 to go the Sabres drew their second penalty of the night as Yandle hooked Kane and went on their second powerplay. However the Sabres couldn’t do anything in the 1:27 left in the first period.
Overall a strong first period for the Sabres against a Panthers team that Buffalo needed to pounce on early.
G: Dadonov A: Barkov Huberdeau
The Sabres struggles in second periods continue, as they found themselves scrambling around and relied on Lehner to bail them out countless times. However eventually the Panthers broke through as Dadonov picked up a loose puck after a scramble in front of the net and put it into the tying the game at 1.
Later in the period Eichel and Pominville found themselves on a 2-on-1 and Pommer absolutely rocketed a slap shot that beat Luongo but couldn’t beat the crossbar.
The latter half of the second period was a little more back and forth with both teams generating a few chances. All in all the Panthers owned the second period and the Sabres had Lehner to thank for keeping this game a 1-1, I don’t know what it is about this team and second periods but this team has to figure it out soon.
G: McCoshen A: Huberdeau, Dadonov
G: Barkov A: Huberdeau, Sceviour
G: Trochek A: Ekblad
The third started out with both teams looking sluggish, no one could really generate much but after trading a few chances Florida scored to go ahaead 2-1.
McCoshen fired a harmless looking shot from the left point that beat a screened Robin Lehner. This goal was definitely one that the Sabres and Lehner want back as it looked like Lehner could have made a better effort to make the save.
Halfway through the third Girgensons was caught with a high stick causing Nolan to jump in and fight Haley, unfortunately Nolan takes a roughing penalty to negate a potential powerplay for the Sabres.
With 6:30 remaining Reinhart revered a blocked shot and fired a wrist shot from the slot that Luongo sprawled across the crease to make a huge save preserving the Panthers 2-1 lead.
With the goalie pulled Buffalo couldn’t generate much and couldn’t keep the zone, Hubereau then takes the puck feeds it over to Barkov who puts it into the open net to make it 3-1.
17 seconds later Trochek races down the wing grabs a loose puck and puts it into the open net making it 4-1 completely putting the game away.
A Dreger said on WGR the Sabres are far from over the hump and the performance against the Panthers was evidence. Aside from the first period the Sabres couldn’t get anything going and when the did have their chances couldn’t convert them to goals
Eichel looked off, and had a rare quiet night which is never a good sign for the Sabres. There were a few bright spots for Buffalo though, Kane continued his excellent scoring pace up to 16 points in 16 games.
On the blueline it was nice to have Beaulieu back, and he looked very comfortable. He’s an excellent skater and moves the puck well, it will be nice to have him back going forward. Also Justin Falk was impressive again, he won’t wow you on the scoresheet but he’s solid defensively and made a few excellent plays and has shown that he deserves to be in the lineup.
The Sabres are back in action tomorrow against Montreal, and hopefully they can put forth a full 60 minute effort.
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