Tonight was a step in the wrong direction for the Buffalo Sabres, who were completely outplayed by the Tampa Bay Lightning and lost by a score of 2-1. Buffalo failed to extend their win streak to that ever so elusive fourth game, a mark they have yet to reach all season. Tonight they struggled against a team they need to find a way to beat if they have any hopes of playing postseason hockey.
The Sabres started out with good energy, but could not get it going on offense at all tonight. Tampa Bay opened up the scoring 16 minutes into the first on a goal from Steven Stamkos that resulted from poor play by the Sabres in their own zone.
The Lightning added to their lead on a 5 on 3 powerplay with an easy put away from Martin St Louis. The Sabres were outshot in the second period by a disgusting margin of 16-4 with nothing going on the offensive side of the puck.
The Sabres finally got on the board with a goal from Jordan Leopold late in the third, but it was not enough to rally this struggling offense. Lack of sustained pressure with the puck plagued the Sabres in this one as they fell to the Lightning by a final score of 2-1.
At this point it’s almost a joke to me that the Sabres are considered a contender for that eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. This team does not deserve to make the playoffs and no facet of their game is good enough to compete in the postseason (besides maybe Ryan Miller).
I honestly don’t get this team. They play well for a few games and beat the second best team in the east, twice! (alright, I guess they didn’t really play THAT well) But then they come back this week and looked horrible against a very beatable Tampa Bay Lightning team. Tonight was no doubt an important matchup and they let Tampa Bay climb 2 points in the standings and they now sit right behind Buffalo. Every game from here on out becomes a crucial matchup and I seriously doubt they’ve got what it takes to make a run.
– 0/4 on the powerplay… ouch. Get this together guys. Dead last in the NHL on the PP is getting real old
-Sabres managed only 14 shots on goal tonight
– Vanek’s status comes in question again as he had to leave tonight’s game early
– The Sabres’ second period struggles continue as they were outshot 16-5 in that one period alone