Tonight the Sabres looked to rebound after back to back losses at home on Monday and Tuesday but feel again, losing 4-2 at home to the Jets running into a hot goaltending performance from Connor Hellebuyck.
The Jets scored first with a quick shot from Dylan Samberg top shelf with Kyle Connor screening UPL (whom I didn’t realize got called back up today) to put the Jets up 1-0 just 6:34 into the game. Similar to the game against the Kraken, boring first period as both teams looked slow and couldn’t get much going offensively, especially the Sabres who had issues even entering the offensive zone and holding possessions. We went into the first intermission still down 1-0, but we outshot the Jets 12-9 and outplayed them by an expected goal rate of 1.7-0.36.
The Sabres finally got their first goal of the game with 7:58 left in the second period, tying the game with a Victor Oloffson goal from the slot after some really good work with the puck behind the net by Mittelstaat to get the puck to Oloffson. Just a little over two minutes later though, Winnipeg answered back with a goal for likely Norris candidate Josh Morrissey to put the Jets back up 2-1. Better period for the Sabres but still tough with how well the Jets defense have played and how Hellebuyck has played in goal.
After killing off a penalty to start the third, Tyson Jost got in the first spot in the spot to finish with a tying goal 2:50 into the period after some great passing between that entire line, making it 2-2 early in the period. Kyle Connor got past the defense though and gave the Jets a lead again, making it 3-2 with 12:42 left in regulation. The Sabres did a pretty good job at trying to tie up the game late but Karson Kuhlman got the empty netter with 43 seconds left to ice off the game.
Final: Sabres 2, Jets 4
The Sabres played alright tonight after the slow first period and were pretty good following that, with nine high danger chances in the second and third. Connor Hellebuyck and the Jets defense is elite and we couldn’t solve them tonight. We outshot the Jets 41-27, beat them out 25-19 on scoring chances and the offense couldn’t score on Hellebuyck while we outplayed the Jets by an expected goal rate of 3.88-2.26. The power play had some nice looks but went 0-6 tonight which was the difference. I didn’t have much issue with the goaltending and the defense tonight other than on the Connor goal, and I was glad the Sabres quickly called Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen back up after how horrid Eric Comrie was in goal on Tuesday.
Bounce back in Nashville on Saturday night and end this three-game losing streak.
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