At some point, Buffalo plans on winning multiple games in a row. They had that chance coming into tonight’s game.
However, that is not the case for tonight.
Part II of the home and home series with the Ottawa Senators was tonight, as the Buffalo Sabres traveled to the Canadian Tire Center, despite a hard fought late third period, the Sabres failed to convert on a season-high 41 shots, falling 2-1 to Ottawa.
Tyler Myers was back in the lineup, following an injury scare in overtime on Tuesday. Ville Leino was also reinserted into the lineup after being scratched on Tuesday.
Cody Hodgson and Brayden McNabb were the scratches for tonight.
Ryan Miller got the nod once again for the Blue and Gold, opposite fellow USA teammate Craig Anderson. Tyler Ennis scored the lone goal for Buffalo on the power play, it was his third goal in four games.
The game was pretty even from start to finish, putting some pressure on Anderson and showing the chemistry is beginning to click within the lineup.
Buffalo looked to have struck first with Jamie McBain ripping a slapshot from the blue line, but a goaltender interference call on John Scott nulled the early goal.
Ottawa started the scoring at the 9:22 mark of the first period, with Bobby Ryan getting the tip-in goal for the Senators.
After throwing the puck in front of the net, the puck just tipped off of former Canisius Griffins star Cory Conacher’s stick. Kyle Turris then picked the puck up and threw it right back, finding the stick of Ryan’s and tapped it into the open net. The Senators led the Sabres 1-0.
A little bit of luck went Buffalo’s way following the Ryan goal. Ottawa forward Zack Smith went to the penalty box after clipping Drew Stafford with a high stick at the 17:01 mark of the first.
It would take Tyler Ennis only 38 seconds to tie the game after that.
Playing with the puck in the corner to the right of Anderson, Ennis played a little give and go with Stafford. Taking the puck back behind the net, Ennis looked to pass, realized there was an open lane, accelerated and pushed the puck by Anderson, tying the game with a little over two minutes to play in the first.
Entering the first intermission with a 1-1 tie has been a rarity for the Sabres, as this was the ninth time in the 32 games so far that Buffalo didn’t trail the opponents. Shots were close, but Ottawa just edged Buffalo, 13-11.
Hoping to ride the momentum that Buffalo had in the first, with Buffalo showing an early spark, firing two point blank shots on Craig Anderson.
John Scott, already on the ice for Ryan’s goal, went down on a tripping penalty on Joe Corvo with 4:30 gone into the second.
Ottawa was unable to put the puck away with the man advantage, but 9 seconds after Scott was released from the box, Kyle Turris set up Zack Smith for the go-ahead goal at the 6:39 mark. Turris and Bobby Ryan were credited with the assist.
A little bit of fighting occurred about halfway into the second.
Cody McCormick and Eric Gryba exchanged a few words prior to a faceoff a center ice. After winning the faceoff and dropping Jean-Gabriel Pageau, McCormick quickly advanced towards Gryba. McCormick quickly rocked two left shots and dropped Gryba, skating right to the penalty box.
At the end of the second, the Sabres trailed the Senators, 2-1. The Sabres fired of 13 shots to the Senators 7, now leading 24-20 after two.
Standing at 0-19-0 after trailing two periods, Buffalo looked to try and change that going into the third.
Throughout the third, Buffalo constantly put pressure on the Ottawa defense, but were unable to put the finishing touches on the shots.
A late penalty to Milan Michalek looked promising, but the Sabres were unable to score an equalizer in the final minutes.
At the final buzzer, it was the Sabres who were walking out with the loss, despite 17 shots on Anderson in the last period. The team was able to fire off a season high of 41 shots on net, with Tyler Ennis getting seven shots off and Drew Stafford had six.
The team played well overall, the only thing that plagued them was the inability to finish when they needed. If the offense was on point tonight, the team might have had the positive end of the score.
What are your thoughts on the way the team played? Comment below!