Recap: Sabres Blank Avalanche in Dominating Win

The Buffalo Sabres have become known for their letdown games throughout the season. After an important win on Tuesday night against the Ottawa Senators the script would have been for them to come up short against the visiting Colorado Avalanche.

On this night, however, the Sabres didn’t let two points get away. They pounced on a bad Avalanche team and controlled the game for the majority of the evening. Buffalo played with speed and the big guys on the club made an impact on the game. On the Colorado side of things, it was just another poor game in a season that the players look like they’re ready to end with still over 20 games remaining on the schedule.


First Period

The Avalanche started off the game very well. They pressed the Sabres early and jumped out to a 4-0 lead in shots in the opening period. After a penalty to the Avs Andreas Martinsen, the Sabres took over for the remainder of the period. They controlled possession for long stretches in the Colorado zone and forced Calvin Pickard to make some nice saves to keep the game scoreless. Buffalo would outshoot the Avalanche 12-3 in the final 17 minutes of the period for 12-7 shots on goal lead after a scoreless first.

Second Period

Cody Goloubef took a hooking penalty on Jack Eichel with five seconds remaining in the first period that carried over into the second. Buffalo took advantage just 48 seconds into the period, as Sam Reinhart put his 13th of the season between the legs of Pickard. The Sabres continued to dominate the visitors throughout the period. They had numerous opportunities to increase their lead but were held to one goal. Pickard either made a timely save, was bailed out by the iron or the Sabres just failed to convert on the gaping net staring the player in the face.

Buffalo dominated the shot total again, this time 9-4 in the period. They headed to the room for the second intermission with a 23-11 lead in the shots and were well in control of the game. The Avalanche never really threatened Lehner too much through the first 40 minutes, but nonetheless, the Avs were still in the game.

Third Period

Colorado had their best period of the game, but it was still nothing special. They threw 12 shots at the Sabres goaltender in the period, but very few were quality scoring chances. The Avs stuck around in the game until just over the four minutes remaining mark when Evander Kane scored his 19th of the season on an excellent rush to seal the win for the Sabres.

The game could have easily been five or six goals in the Sabres favor. They were the better team throughout and controlled the play for nearly the entire game. Colorado continues to be a team that is just waiting for the general manager to make the big move, while the Sabres have all of a sudden pulled themselves into the playoff conversation in the Eastern Conference.


Scoring Summary




BUF – Sam Reinhart PPG (13) assisted by Rasmus Ristolainen and Ryan O’Reilly – 0:48


BUF – Evander Kane (19) assisted by Evan Rodrigues and Jack Eichel – 15:46

  THW Three Stars

First: Evander Kane (1 G, 4 SOG)

Second: Robin Lehner (23 SVS, SO)

Third: Calvin Pickard (30 SVS, 2 GA)

Next Up

St. Louis Blues at Buffalo Sabres

Key Bank Center – 7:00 p.m. EST (Saturday, Feb. 19)

Broadcast channels: FS-MW & MSG-B

2016-17 Season Series: Nov. 15 – Blues 4, Sabres 1

Next Up

Colorado Avalanche at Carolina Hurricanes

PNC Arena – 7:30 p.m. EST (Friday, Feb. 17)

Broadcast channel: FS-CR & ALT

2016-17 Season Series: None