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5 Observations: Penguins rally, beat Sabres 4-3

5 Observations: Penguins rally, beat Sabres 4-3
Posted at 8:25 PM, Mar 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-05 20:25:40-05

Same story, different day. On Sunday the Buffalo Sabres saw a three-goal lead turn into a one-goal defeat, falling to the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3.

Five observations from Sunday's loss:

Another blown lead

Since returning from the bye week the Sabres have squandered four third period leads in only six games. The first three times this happened it was easy to say that the Sabres got caught protecting the lead, but on Sunday they just ran into one of the best teams in the league.

In the third period, the Sabres actually had two more shots than the Penguins [18-16], they just couldn't beat Marc-Andre Fleury. The Sabres are now 16-2-5 when entering the third period with a lead. One week ago that record was 15-0-4. Crazy how things can change so quickly.

Heartbreaking

Well, that's how I phrased the loss on Twitter, but some fans say this has just become status quo.

Rob -- "same old same old"

Eric --"still have feelings in your heart for it to be heartbreaking. This has, unfortunately, become to normal. Just another loss."

Brad -- "weak,weak,weak D corp. Team not ready to win yet. Disappointing year right from 15's inj. Hopefully it feels different next yr."

That last sentence from Brad is surely how a lot of fans feel.

Teams need to learn how to win. I don't care how cliché that sounds, it's true. Playoff teams don't blow four third period leads in eight days, it just doesn't happen.

Every team will suffer a heartbreaking loss here and there, that's just the nature of the game. That being said, if this keeps happening and continues next year, changes need to be made.

Nifty Nilsson

The first time the Sabres and Penguins played this year Anders Nilsson had his best game of the season, stopping 46 shots in a 2-1 win. On Sunday evening he was solid again despite the loss, stopping 41 shots from one of the league's most explosive offenses.

Sure, he let in four goals, but I'm not sure any goalie is stopping the one-timer from Evgeni Malkin or the perfect tic-tac-toe play that led to the game-winner from Connor Sheary. In the first period, Nilsson kept the Sabres ahead, it very easily could've been 3-3 after the first 20 minutes. If you're going to blame this loss on someone, it better not be Nilsson.

Ten

Spoiler alert -- Jack Eichel's point streak will be an observation until it ends. On Sunday evening Eichel extended his point streak to ten games with a goal in the first period [16th of the season].

Since February 1 Eichel has 21 points in 17 games. During that span, no other player has more points than the Sabres 20-year-old center.

Hopefully, this little nugget cheered you up.

Quick start......really quick start

The first period may have been Buffalo's most complete 20 minutes of the season. Sure, they scored three goals, but they also had 21 shots.

Remember two years ago when the Sabres would play entire games without registering 21 shots? Yeah, me too.

In the end, it didn't matter, but it was still a great start for the Sabres.