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5 Observations: Sabres shut out by Canadiens 3-0

5 Observations: Sabres shut out by Canadiens 3-0
Posted at 9:55 PM, Mar 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 21:55:39-04

For the seventh time this season, the Buffalo Sabres were shut out, this time falling to the Montreal Canadiens 3-0. It's the sixth time the Sabres were held scoreless on home ice this season as the Sabres fall to 23-39-12.

Five observations from Friday's loss:

Dude, where's the offense? 

In three games played this week the Sabres have only one goal [one goal in nine periods]. Friday proved to be another glorious example of why the Sabres have found the back of the net fewer than any other team. For those keeping track at home, the Arizona Coyotes, who have also spent the entire season in the league basement, now have 11 more goals than the Sabres. 

Their best opportunity to score a goal came in the third period when they had a 1:06 two-man advantage. Buffalo maintained good zone pressure but couldn't beat Niemi. Along with bolstering the blue line, Buffalo desperately needs to add some secondary scoring in the offseason. Aside from Jack Eichel, Ryan O'Reilly, and Sam Reinhart, no other player has more than 38 points. 

Nifty Niemi

Credit where credit is due, Canadiens goaltender Antti Niemi was the best player on the ice Friday. Buffalo actually outshot the Canadiens 35-24, but Niemi was perfect from start to finish. That said, it's ridiculous that the Sabres have only one goal in their last nine periods played. 

Ullmark Update 

In only his third start of the season, Linus Ullmark was once again impressive, making a few big saves to keep his team within striking distance. With only eight games left this season, Ullmark should get at least four more starts as the Sabres determine whether or not he's ready to be a full-time starter in the NHL next season. 

It's the final countdown 

It's hard to believe that the Sabres have only two games left on home ice this season. When considering how badly they've performed at KeyBank Center, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Buffalo has only 11 wins on home ice this season, the fewest in the NHL. No other team in the Eastern Conference has fewer than 15 wins at home. Everything is not fine. 


How can this be an observation from the game? Well, it isn't, but Will Borgen's season ended a half an hour before puck drop between the Sabres and Canadiens, so this seemed relevant. 

Borgen, who just finished his junior season with St. Cloud State, joins Casey Mittelstadt as the second most highly touted prospect GM Jason Botterill would like to get signed. As Kris Baker from said:

"Season done for third-year D Will Borgen as St. Cloud State, the top overall seed, is defeated by Air Force 4-1. Not being overdramatic, but Borgen is a must-get for Botterill to build depth."

#BorgenWatch has been engaged. 


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