Philadelphia Flyers Steamroll the Buffalo Sabres
Following the Buffalo Sabres crushing loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in their previous game the big question entering Tuesday night's game against the Philadelphia Flyers was how would the Sabres respond? Would they come with a new determination? Or would they crash and burn?
The Sabres got run over by the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3, essentially crashing and burning so badly the wreckage chased the fans out of their seats early in the third period. Goaltender Robin Lehner had a large role in the loss. After playing so many terrific games this season by keeping the score close, Lehner was a sieve in this one.
The Sabres would have done just as well by putting a cardboard cutout in front of the Buffalo net. Lehner gave up several long shots and a short side goal from the far boards, but of course he didn't get much help from his defensemen either.
Offensively, the two guys the Sabres have been depending on to lead the team have continued to do that. Jack Eichel extended his scoring streak to 11 straight games with a pair of goals and an assist. He now stands at 18 goals on the season. And Evander Kane scored his 24th goal of the season. Two of the three Buffalo goals came on the power play. The Flyers went 0 for 3 on the power play.
Sabres coach Dan Balsyma said the team either wasn't ready to play or was still shell-shocked from the tough loss to the Penguins. So is that a coaching problem? Is that a lack of maturity by the players? Or is this team just so short on talent and resolve the general manager still has a lot of work to do?
The Sabres have had their moments this season. They've beaten some good teams, but they continue to make the same mistakes especially when it comes to puck management.
The Sabres have now lost seven of their last eight games. They have 15 games to go and coach Balsyma said he told the team it's up to them to decide on how they want the last few weeks of the season to go and what kind of hockey team they want to be.
The Sabres are off until Friday when they begin the first of a home and home series with the Columbus Blue Jackets...in Columbus on Friday and back in Buffalo on Saturday.