5 Observations: Hurricanes blow by Sabres 5-2

5 Observations: Hurricanes blow by Sabres 5-2
Posted at 10:18 PM, Jan 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-13 22:18:47-05

Going into Friday the Buffalo Sabres had their hands full, facing a Carolina Hurricanes team that has only one regulation loss in their last 14 home games. The Sabres jumped out to a 1-0 lead but quickly saw the tides turn, falling to the Hurricanes 5-2. Carolina is now 13-1-1 in their last 15 home games.

Five observations from Friday's loss:

Well that escalated quickly


Things seemed to be going swimmingly for the Sabres and then the second period started. Buffalo saw a 1-0 lead disappear two minutes into the period. Less than a minute later Jeff Skinner, who scored Carolina's first goal, beat Nilsson yet again to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead. But Carolina wasn't done -- adding a third goal four minutes later.

Stretches like this cannot happen. In just five minutes the Hurricanes completely took over the game and just like that the Sabres were playing catch up. It's amazing how a few bad minutes can cost you a game -- and that's what happened on Friday.

We're still trying this Foligno - Eichel - Gionta thing, huh?

On Thursday I adamantly said that I hated the Foligno - Eichel - Gionta line.

Judging from your tweets and comments, I wasn't alone.

Apparently, Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma disagrees, because once again the trio was together to start the game and once again they were broken up as Buffalo played from behind. Here's an idea -- just don't put them together in the first place!

Whaaaa happened?

Anders Nilsson just didn't have it tonight. Don't get me wrong -- he made some nice saves and didn't get much help, but he also let in a few goals he'd like back.

This goal was probably Nilsson's softest of the evening.

It's not necessarily a surprise -- he did just play last night -- but definitely one of his shakiest starts of the season. Oh well, even the best goalies have 'bad' games -- and while I don't think Nilsson was bad, he wasn't good either.

No help from the blueline

That stat is absurd. Lately the Sabres have been scoring more, at least compared to how they started the season -- but still are incredibly streaky. Lack of goals from the blue line is one of the reasons why. Obviously, you can't rely on a defenseman scoring every game, but ONLY FOUR GOALS in 42 games? That's unacceptable. 

Missed chances

Buffalo finished the evening with a very respectable 38 shots but they just couldn't capitalize on their opportunities. The Sabres had several odd-man rushes and partial breakaways, but no goals from those chances. 

I did like that they got pucks to the net -- we didn't see that until the third period against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday. Give Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward some credit too, he played a very sound and solid game.