Buffalo Sabres Blow Another Third Period Lead In A Loss To Pittsburgh
There are some teams that get favorable officiating calls in the NHL and there are some that don't. The Pittsburgh Penguins are one of the darlings of the league, the Sabres are not. The Penguins got a huge assist from the NHL office in Toronto in allowing the tying goal late in the third period that was obviously a high stick. Moments later the Penguins scored the winning goal to beat the Sabres 4-3.The Sabres can take a big portion of the blame themselves in losing for the sixth time in the last seven games. The Sabres played an excellent opening 20 minutes and built a 3-0 lead. But as they so often do, they quit playing the way that gave them that lead. The Penguins scored twice in the second period, and twice more in the third (with that huge assist from the goons in Toronto) and the Sabres were sunk.
They played a similar game in Pittsburgh last year, building a 3-0 first period lead, but lost in a shoot out. If they could only capture what they tend to do in the opening 20 minutes against Pittsburgh and spread it out a little more evenly over the course of a game we could be talking about a pretty good hockey team. But as we know the Sabres just aren't capable of consistently playing 60 minutes of solid hockey.
Ryan O'Reilly, Brian Gionta and Jack Eichel scored the Buffalo goals while Anders Nilsson was solid at the other end of the ice in the first period making a number of spectacular saves. But like they keep doing game after game the Sabres just don't know how to play with a lead and they keep giving away games and points in the standings.
Eichel's goal extends his points streak to 10 games; the longest current streak in the NHL. And with that goal he becomes just the second player in the expansion era to score against every other team in the league in his first two seasons in the league. That's an amazing stat and hopefully an indication of things to come for this emerging star.
The Sabres try to figure things out again when they host the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night at KeyBank Center.