5 Observations: Panthers take down Sabres 3-0

5 Observations: Panthers take down Sabres 3-0
Posted at 9:57 PM, Apr 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-08 22:29:53-04

The Buffalo Sabres will finish with fewer points this season than they did last year. That became official on Saturday evening when the Florida Panthers topped the Sabres 3-0.

Five observations from Saturday's game:

Offensive outburst

Just kidding! Kudos to you if you stayed tuned for the entire game because not a whole lot happened. For my money, this may have been the most uneventful game of the season.

After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the Panthers struck first on a goal Sabres netminder Robin Lehner would certainly like back. Panthers forward Nick Bjugstad snuck a wrist shot through Lehner's arm and just like that it was 1-0.

Jonathan Huberdeau added two more goals to extend the Flordia lead to 3-0.

Not doing their coach any favors

Prepare yourselves for a lot of speculation over the next few days about Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma. After a lackluster performance on Saturday, his team certainly didn't do him any favors.

Earlier in the week, we posted a Twitter poll (which of course is the most accurate way to get a gauge on anything) and 79% of voters thought that the Sabres should make a coaching change. Whether or not that happens, of course, remains to be seen but it will undoubtedly be an interesting few days.

Meet Mr. Malone

It was certainly a small sample size but West Seneca native Sean Malone had a fairly sound NHL debut. The 21-year-old played just about 12 minutes but managed to create a few nice chances in his limited role. Overall it was a good start for the former Harvard standout. Did you know former Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard?

Failure to launch

When the third period began the Sabres were only down 2-0. Unfortunately for the blue and gold, they were unable to really generate any offense and were outshot 15-7 in the final frame. Flordia capitalized on a few flukey goals, but usually, when you get pucks to the net you're more likely to get those lucky bounces.

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??| •.•)  The draft lottery though

I AM NOT SUGGESTING LOSING THIS GAME WAS A GOOD THING. However, the Sabres will likely have a better shot at winning the draft lottery because of Saturday's loss. If nothing else, they'll have a better shot at drafting a position or two lower than they might have with a win. For your convenience, here's the link to the draft lottery simulator. Deja vu all over again, am I right?