Sabres @ Senators: 1/1/23 – Game Reactions/Recap

Coming into the new year, the Sabres were on a six-game winning streak after beating the Bruins 4-3 in Boston yesterday in a game that we had no business winning. That ended tonight though as they got outplayed in a lousy game and lost 3-1 in Ottawa.

Just as they did yesterday, the  Sabres didn’t start off great tonight. Just 47 seconds into the game, Tim Stutzle made it 1-0 Senators on a play that happened due to a complete defensive breakdown in front of the net. Buffalo didn’t look great in that first period and looked slow and lazy and couldn’t get the puck out of their own zone.

The Sabres seemed to pick up the pace early in the second period and they were rewarded as the Latvian Locomotive wheeled up the ice after a beautiful pass from Mattias Samuelsson and tied the game up. That was Zemgus Girgensons’ fourth of the season, 6:51 into the period as he got his first point in eleven games. Ottawa retook the lead 8:15 in the period with a tap-in for Jacob Lucchini off a rebound past Craig Anderson, where he just couldn’t slide over fast enough on the penalty kill. Despite being still down after two periods, the Sabres played much better in the second than they did in the first, getting much more chances and holding possessions in the Sens zone more and they went into the third outshooting Ottawa 24-20 but down 2-1. 

After a scoreless third period where the Sabres looked like shit again and got outshot by a ton, Tim Stutzle scored on the empty net to make it 3-1 Senators.

Final: Sabres 1, Senators 3

The Sabres start 2023 with a 3-1 loss in a game where they actually outshot Ottawa 34-33 but came out too short. We got outplayed by an expected goal rate of 3.91-3.44 and really didn’t test the Sens all that much. The Sabres are 1-7 in our last eight games in Ottawa and just can’t seem to find a way to win there. 

We have a tough test in our capital on Tuesday, facing off against Washington. That should be a fun game. Let’s bounce back against the Caps.

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