Sabres' Bailey looks solid in loss to Bruins

Posted at 10:41 PM, Sep 19, 2016

It was too little too late for the Buffalo Sabres, as they dropped the final game of the Sabres Prospects Challenge Monday night to the Boston Bruins prospects 4-3.

The Sabres scored twice in the final minutes making a game dominated by the Bruins close, at least on the score board.

Buffalo gave up three goals in the first but finally got a goal from Justin Bailey just minutes into the second period. The Bruins responded later in the second period making it 4-1. That remained the score until the final minutes of the third when Sabres 2016 first round pick Alexander Nylander scored the Sabres second goal on the power-play. Nylander’s goal was followed by another from defenseman Brendan Guhle seconds later.

Here’s how I thought the game played out:

Nylander and Guhle, two of the Sabres goal scorers had very inconsistent games, especially in the Sabres zone. Nylander in the first period was getting pushed around and couldn’t get anything going. In the second period Nylander started winning battles, including one behind the net that eventually led to Justin Bailey’s goal.

Guhle, one of the Sabres top defensive prospects had the same problem. He looks bigger than he did last year but still, at times, gets pushed around. Guhle is at his best when he’s flying into the zone and making things happen – he just has to do it at the right time. It wasn’t a huge issue tonight but the 19-year-old defenseman got caught out of place a few times Saturday night in the Sabres prospect game against the Devils.

Justin Bailey, who got the Sabres first goal had an all-around solid game. He looked explosive with the puck, was steady in his own zone and contributed to plenty of the Sabres scoring chances. Bailey is one of the few players with NHL game experience so he’s asked to do a lot, but he didn’t disappoint. If Bailey has a strong training camp he could earn a full-time roster spot with the Sabres.

Daniel Muzito-Bagenda, who has the best name of any Sabres prospect, had a solid game. The 20-year-old forward was on the ice during every situation and showed he’s good at both ends of the ice. He’s a fan many Sabres and Rochester Americans fans aren’t familiar with, but one they’ll surely get to know soon. Can we just agree his nickname is DMB?

Nick Baptiste was without question the Sabres best player on Saturday and he again showed that he’s one of the organization’s top prospects. He made an absolute perfect pass on Guhle’s goal and finished the tournament with three goals and two assists (five points) in two games.