Sabres Vs. Hurricanes Review 1/11/2019

                This was a very unfortunate loss for the Sabres. The Hurricanes got every lucky bounce possible and won this game by the skin of their teeth. The Sabres had another chance to beat a team that is fighting for a wildcard spot and lost it. I felt that Buffalo was the better team tonight and outplayed Carolina. It’s hard to see the Sabres lose another close and important game.

                In terms of scoring chances, the first period was even. Both teams possessed the puck for a similar amount of time. Early in the game, Ferland took a shot that bounced several times and found its way past Hutton. Like the game against New Jersey, an unlucky goal got past Hutton early in the game. The goaltending was very solid in the first period. Hutton and McElhinney made strong saves to keep the game 1-1. Eichel’s first period back was mixed. Looking both great and out of place at times. It appears that he is still trying to get up to speed. The Sabres were awarded a powerplay at the end of the period. Seconds into it, Jeff Skinner batted the puck into the net, tying the game before the end of the period. Skinner now has 30 goals in only 44 games.

                The hurricanes took a penalty at the start of the period, giving the Sabres a good chance to take an early lead. After the powerplay expired, Justin Williams stepped by Thompson and Scandella to score a beautiful goal. Immediately after this goal, Jason Pominville ripped a clapper over Mcelhinney’s glove, making the game tied early in the second period. About 2 minutes after Pominville’s goal, Teravainen redirected the puck past Hutton. I would like to see Dahlin tie him up more in front of the net. This could have easily prevented this goal. The Hurricanes have gotten many lucky bounces throughout this game. Aho threw the puck to the front of the net, and it deflected off McCabe into the net, making it 4-2 Carolina. If These ridiculous bounces weren’t getting past Hutton, the Sabres would be winning the period. In the second, it was the classic case of Buffalo outplaying the other team, but still losing the game somehow. Larsson took a run at Faulk, which Faulk didn’t appreciate. They got into a very short fight, where somehow the Sabres got a powerplay. The Sabres didn’t produce on the powerplay and ended the period shorthanded.

                The third period got my heart racing. The Sabres were really making a push to tie the game. They had chance after chance but couldn’t execute on any play. Pominville had so many opportunities that went by the wayside. Sheary and Rodrigues also had many opportunities to tie this game up. Late in the period Okposo, got a goal which made it a one-goal game. Hutton was pulled with two minutes left, and the Sabres were unable to generate meaningful offense. They never had good control of the puck or generated a real scoring chance. The period ended and the Hurricanes won 4-3.

                The Sabres are struggling to get through the middle part of the season. After winning against New Jersey, I was hoping to see more success from this team. Hopefully the Sabres can find success in final stretch of the season. In their 10-game winning streak earlier in the year, the Sabres found a way to win close games. When the game is close, they will need to find a way to get over the hump. The Atlantic Division has a lot of winning teams. Buffalo will need to do everything they can, in hopes of securing a playoff spot.

Mitch KozlowskiComment