5 Observations: Burrows, Canucks top Sabres 4-2

5 Observations: Burrows, Canucks top Sabres 4-2
Posted at 11:10 PM, Feb 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-12 23:10:30-05

The Buffalo Sabres had an opportunity to sit only three points out of a playoff spot with a win on Sunday against the Vancouver Canucks. Instead, the Sabres allowed a pair of second-period goals and failed to respond, falling to the Canucks 4-2. 

Five Observations from Sunday's loss: 

Burrows changes the game

Canucks forward Alex Burrows was probably the most unpopular man in the building on Sunday evening but at the end of the game, he got the last laugh. In the early minutes, Burrows got in a shoving match with Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner.

Seconds later Sabres defenseman Justin Falk tackled Burrows and KeyBank Center erupted, but here's the timeline of how things played out after the incident:

-Canucks power play goal (VAN 1 - BUF1)
-Canucks goal (VAN 2 - BUF 1)
-Sabres goal from Kyle Okposo (VAN 2 - BUF 2
-Burrows goal (VAN 3 - BUF 2)
-Canucks goal, assist from Burrows ( VAN 4 - BUF 2)

Essentially, Burrows had a part in three of the Canucks four goals.

To make matters even worse, Burrows scored his goal right in front of Falk who couldn't bat the puck away. Talk about adding insult to injury.

Back-to-back Lehner

I liked the idea of riding with the hot goaltender, but it may have backfired. Lehner didn't play a terrible game by any stretch, but he let in a few goals that he likely would've stopped on Saturday night. 

"We haven't done anything in this league," Lehner said after the game. "Gio [Gionta] has won a cup, you know, with all respect to him, the rest of us, we haven't, end of story. We have to stop thinking after we win a game that we're Chicago or Boston." 

Lehner finished with 27 saves on 31 shots. 

Another abysmal second period

After Sunday's loss, every player we spoke with mentioned how bad the Sabres have been in the second period. This season Buffalo has a -22 goal differential in the middle frame, something the team has tried to address, it just hasn't worked. 

"We know what we have to do and we just didn't do it," Tyler Ennis said after the game. "It was another second period that cost us and that's been the difference a lot this year." 

"Second periods have been hurting us all year and that one was no different," Kyle Okposo added. 

No one can seem to give an answer on why exactly the second period has been such an issue, but if the Sabres have any shot at the playoffs they'll need to figure things out moving forward. 

Too many too many men on the ice penalties

Too many men on the ice penalties never look good. Taking them in back-to-back games looks even worse. It's February, these silly mistakes can't be happening during a playoff race.

Every once in a while these things are going to happen, it just seems like it happens a lot with the Sabres.

And speaking of penalties...

At the end of the game, the scoresheet will say that the Canucks finished the night 1-for-6 on the power play, but two of their goals came seconds after Sabres penalties expired. Literally seconds.

All year the Sabres have really struggled while shorthanded and on Sunday night that was apparent yet again. That being said, I didn't agree with a few of the calls against the Sabres, but they need to be better. 

Follow Matt Bove on Twitter!