The Buffalo Sabres played a sound game against the Carolina Hurricanes, but they couldn’t snag the W in overtime at Carolina.
Wow, did the Buffalo Sabres miss on a couple of golden opportunities? Twice, Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta left the net wide open late in the game, but the Blue and Gold couldn’t capitalize and end their winless streak at PNC Arena. Still though, what a defensive effort overall, and a game that the Sabres shouldn’t hang their heads after.
Following some terrible luck that led to a Hurricanes power play goal, Buffalo had a strong defensive game, getting sticks on the puck, doing what they could to take away lanes, and blocking 20 shots in the process. Following their initial ill-fated penalty kill, the Sabres were perfect on the final three, which contributed to keeping this one close.
While they didn’t get the win, they put forth enough effort to at least skate away with a point in an overtime loss that was bound to happen at some point this season. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s talk about some individual performances.
Buffalo Sabres defense and goaltending held up for the most part
Goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen enjoyed yet another good game, stopping 23 of 25 shots in regulation and 24 of 27 overall. When the Sabres did leave lanes open, Luukkonen, for the most part, was on-point and gave us some memorable saves.
Ryan Johnson and Rasmus Dahlin looked good on the first pairing tonight. Dahlin skated for 23:37, put up a point, blocked a pair of shots, and finished with a plus-1. Johnson finished with 19:26, and it says a lot when Buffalo Sabres head coach Don Granato had him out there for just about every situation. He snagged a block and also finished with a plus-1.
Jordan Greenway had one bounce off of him that led to the Hurricanes opening the scoring, and that’s something he can’t help. Other than that, Greenway also had a good outing, blocking three shots, and playing sound defense to disrupt the Hurricanes all evening.
Overall, losses like these sting, but still, the Sabres played a hockey team that fares very well at home and nearly won. It was an outstanding effort from both teams, and at least the Blue and Gold are coming home with something.
(Statistics provided by NHL.com)