BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — After taking a nasty hit, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin left the game in the second period and didn't return, as the team fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2. Sam Reinhart and Jimmy Vesey scored for the Sabres who fall to 11-10-3 with their loss on Monday.
5 Observations from Monday:
Tampa Bay scored twice in less than a minute to make a 3-2 game a 5-2 rout. It would've been 6-2 a minute later but Tampa Bay had a goal taken away because the refs determined Anthony Cirelli interfered with Carter Hutton's pad. To say this was an epic collapse for the Sabres would be putting it lightly. After 40 minutes of pretty good even-strength hockey, the Sabres fell asleep and the Bolts made them pay. For a team that should be playing desperate hockey, this was an embarrassing effort in the third period.
How can you miss that?
At the end of the second period, Rasmus Dahlin very clearly was elbowed in the head by Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak but there was no penalty on the play. After the game, Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger told reporters that Dahlin has a concussion. I have no idea how this penalty was missed but when it comes to officiating in the NHL, nothing really surprises me anymore.
Cernak elbows Dahlin in the face. pic.twitter.com/kfTL2XbVan— Ben Mathewson (@Ben_Mathewson) November 26, 2019
Dahlin left the game after taking the hit and didn't return. Obviously losing Dahlin for any time frame is a huge blow, even in a season where he hasn't played his best. It was an illegal hit and I wouldn't be surprised if Cernak was fined for the play after further review.
With their loss to the Lightning, the Sabres are now 2-8-1 in the month of November. With only three games left this month, the Sabres are flirting with one of their worst months in franchise history. Which is pretty remarkable when you remember how bad this team has been for the last eight years.
Monkey Off His Back
I'm not sure if anyone thought it was going to take Jimmy Vesey 24 games to score a goal but here we are. On Monday, Vesey finally found the back of the net for the first time as a Sabre, beating Andrei Vasilevskiy five-hole in the second period.
Vesey, who was brought to Buffalo to provide secondary scoring, was in one of his worst draughts as a pro. Perhaps his goal on Monday will help spark some offense for the winger had never scored fewer than 16 goals in his NHL career before this season.
Losing the special teams battle
For what feels like the 1000th time this season the Sabres came up on the wrong side of the special teams battle, despite some solid chances on the power play. Their best chance came when Victor Olofsson cranked a shot off the post at the end of the second period. But close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. To make matters worse, the Sabres allowed two shorthanded goals in the final frame. The Sabres have scored just one power play goal in their last 11 games.
As for the penalty kill, once again the Sabres allowed a power-play goal. This time it was Mikhail Sergachev who scored on the Bolts second man advantage of the evening.