Buffalo Sabres Match Franchise Record In Loss to NY Islanders

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The Buffalo Sabres tied a franchise record tonight as they fell 3-2 to the New York Islanders. The record for the Buffalo Sabres, however wasn’t in the score, or in the loss itself, but rather in the shot category.

With just 10 shots registered through 60 minutes of play, the Buffalo Sabres tied their franchise record for that category.

Having registered so few shots, it’s incredible that the Buffalo Sabres were still able to register two goals, while also keeping the Islanders to just a one-goal lead. The overall score appears much closer than the game itself was, as the Buffalo Sabres ended up being outshot by a 31-10 margin. The team didn’t spend enough time in front of the net, didn’t take enough shots, and overall, didn’t give themselves enough chances to get into the game.

At first, the game seemed like it would be an okay one. It was scoreless through much of the first period, until the Islanders’ Colin McDonald made it 1-0 with less than four minutes to go.

The Islanders held a 9-5 edge in shots through the first period, which wasn’t terrible, and it was a one-goal deficit — not too bad, right?

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The sorry truth is this: the Buffalo Sabres registered as many shots in the last 40 minutes of the game as they did in the first 20. That’s not exactly a winning recipe. The Islanders also struck twice quickly in the second period, including a power-play goal and an even-strength tally just 1:02 later. Just like that, the Sabres were behind in a three-goal deficit and being badly outshot.

Here’s the thing, though. The Buffalo Sabres didn’t back down. The team only registered three shots in the second period, but they had goals on two of those shots. Marcus Foligno scored in his first game back from injury — and just 1:11 after the Islanders’ Mikhail Grabovski made it 3-0. Less than two and a half minutes after Foligno’s goal, Drew Stafford made it a one-goal deficit and seemingly brought the Buffalo Sabres back into the game.

They just couldn’t finish the comeback, registered only two shots in the third period, and ultimately fell in their second game of a back-to-back set this weekend.

If there’s one thing we can point to as the determining factor of tonight’s game, it’s that shot count. You’re not going to win a game with just 10 shots on goal (unless the other team is absolutely terrible, that is.) The Islanders got 1.5 times as many shots as the Sabres did in the entire game IN THE SECOND PERIOD ALONE.

You need to shoot, you need to get the puck on the net and be in front of the net in order to give yourself more opportunities to either deflect the puck in or score in one way or another, and registering 10 shots in 60 minutes just isn’t going to cut it.

Picking out the three stars for the Buffalo Sabres tonight wasn’t too difficult, in all honesty. Here’s who I selected:

1. Marcus Foligno gets one of the stars from me for tonight’s Buffalo Sabres game against the New York Islanders.

Fooling just missed 19 games with an upper body injury and returned to the ice tonight with fire.

In his return, Foligno had a goal and an assist and was a plus-2 on the night. He played 15:21 and also had two shots, a team-high five hits (tied with Patrick Kaleta) and two blocked shots.

Not bad for a guy who hadn’t played since December 21.

2. Brian Flynn

Flynn registered an assist tonight and, along with Foligno, was one of three players on the Buffalo Sabres roster who was a plus-2.

Flynn played 16:47 ice time and had two hits, one blocked shot and won 45 percent of his faceoffs (5-6).

3. Drew Stafford scored his ninth goal of the season tonight.

He’s the other player who was a plus-2 tonight, along with Foligno and Flynn.

Stafford played 16:16 and had two shots on goal, one attempt blocked and one hit. Stafford was one of just five Buffalo Sabres skaters who registered a shot in tonight’s game against the New York Islanders and overall has two goals in his last four games.

Anyone else you’d pick?

Next up for the Buffalo Sabres is a game Tuesday night as the Ottawa Senators come to town.