The Sabres had to come back from a two goal deficit the break their losing streak

December 11, 2018 - 10:49 pm

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - The Sabres played the worst team in the league on Tuesday, but it was Buffalo that looked like the worst team in the league in the second period.

The game was tied 1-1 after one period and then the Sabres got totally dominated the second to fall behind 3-1, but the third period was what the Sabres want to be.

The Kings were down to four defensemen thanks to injuries and they had a game in Detroit on Monday night. Buffalo woke up with a relentless forecheck firing 20 shots at Cal Petersen in the third period and overtime. Overall the former Sabres draft pick saw 47 shots and couldn’t stop a three goal barrage by the Sabres.

The power play in overtime that won the game was a great job by Rasmus Ristolainen. With it being a 4-on-3, it was his job to get in front of the net and he’s so strong, the Kings couldn’t handle him. It was Ristolainen that fought for the puck in front and scooped the puck to a wide open Jeff Skinner for the game-winner.

Having Ristolainen providing the net-front presence is something I would examine for the future.

The come from behind victory helped the Sabres break a five-game losing streak making them 1-1-1 on this homestand.

I don’t think the Sabres competed in some of this game and it almost cost them. On Los Angeles’ first goal, Linus Ullmark was on the seat of his pants with no idea where the puck was and Matt Tennyson and Kyle Okposo were caught watching.

On the second goal, Rasmus Dahlin thought he could hit the puck out of the air, but didn’t see Matt Luff in front of him who knocked it down, went in and deked Ullmark for the goal.

On the third goal, Adrian Kempe started behind the net, Casey Mittelstadt couldn’t keep up with him, Conor Sheary weakly waved his stick in Kempe’s direction and Lawrence Pilut just stood and watched as Kempe shot from the slot and scored.

The shots were 10-1 in the second before Buffalo got a couple of power plays. Seven of their 11 shots came on the power play. The Sabres played the second with no emotion and pretty much stood around and let the NHL’s worst scoring team come at them.

They deservedly got booed off the ice with that effort.

In the first period, Buffalo got seven early shots on Cal Petersen, but there was nobody around him. Buffalo did get some traffic as the period went on, but it was Zemgus Girgensons stealing the puck from Drew Doughty and ripping his third goal inside the post. That was just his second goal in 14 games.

The reason Johan Larsson scored his goal to tie the game was he went hard to the net. Pilut picked up his head and found him giving Larsson his first goal in nine games. That line was a force all night. Larsson, Girgensons and Evan Rodrigues were all over the depleted Kings defense and really helped wear them down in the final 21 minutes.

Things weren’t looking good and the Sabres were fortunate they were playing the league’s worst team down two defensemen on a back-to-back situation, but give them credit too. They came out in the third period and took back what should’ve been theirs in the first place. On the postgame show Jack Eichel said, “We just turned too many pucks over, we were making it too easy. In the third, we committed to putting the puck deep in their end, we just wore them down. The difference the forecheck gets going in the third."

Buffalo is now 10-3-2 in this building and they can’t let Arizona walk in here on Thursday and take two points from them.

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