On Monday Night, the Buffalo Sabres played a lot like the 2018-19 Buffalo Sabres.
The Sabres did everything the exact opposite way than they played during the first two games of the season. Buffalo couldn’t keep the puck in opponents territory, couldn’t put shots on goal and defensively had no answer for the Blue Jackets attack.
In the first period Buffalo played the worst they had the whole season. They were being dominated in every facet of the game. Buffalo had only 6 shots on goal to Columbus’s 14. To make matters worse, Columbus snuck in two goals in the final 2 minutes of the period. One of these goals took a lucky bounce to get past Linus Ullmark.
In the second period Buffalo initially came out playing significantly better. Just a minute into the period Colin Miller made a pretty pass to Marcus Johansson he sent it home with the one timer. For the first time in the game, it looked like Buffalo might just have a pulse.
As the second period went on, the same problems from the first period followed the Sabres. The Sabres again only got 6 shots on goal compared to Columbus’s 15, and Columbus kept the puck away from their net. Luckily for Buffalo, Jeff Skinner made a fantastic defensive play and turned it into a goal which tied the game halfway through the second period.
In the third period things most certainly did not go Buffalo’s way. Again, Columbus dominated in shots on goal and was able to get one in late. Again for Buffalo, when things looked like they were completely over, Victor Olofsson slapped one home to stun the Nationwide Arena crowd.
Unfortunately, the Sabres would go on to lose in overtime, but last night that felt like a win. The Sabres were out shot 47 to 16 in regulation and had no business taking a point from Columbus. In net, Linus Ullmark played a sensational game. Ullmark made 40 saves and really impressed me with his abilities.
It’s not always about winning at your best, sometimes it’s about finding a way when you’re at your worst. That is exactly what the Ralph Krueger Buffalo Sabres did last night.