Don't look now -- but the Buffalo Sabres are streaking. They're going streaking through the quad! Buffalo was down 4-2 late in the third period but they pulled off what was arguably their best comeback of the season, knocking off the Nashville Predators 5-4 in overtime.
Five observations from Tuesday's loss:
What a comeback
Major props to the Sabres for coming back and getting the win. This may be their most impressive win of the season. No, that doesn't mean it was their best game by any stretch, but to score two late goals and tie things up late like they did, then win in overtime, that is really impressive.
Lehner comes back to reality
Lehner is coming off one of his best games of the season but on Tuesday he let in two pretty weak goals. I thought Lehner had a nice start to the game, but Nashville's second and third goals should've been stopped.
The Predators second goal came on a wrap around from Cody McLeod, who snuck the puck between Lehner's pad and the post. Nashville's third goal was eerily similar, this time coming from Viktor Arvidsson, who put a shot between Lehner's arm and the post.
Lehner has to make both of these saves. They turned out to be the difference in the game. He made plenty of nice saves on Tuesday night, but the saves he's supposed to make he didn't.
K.I.S.S. -- Keep it simple, stupid.
The Buffalo Sabres found themselves on the power play twice in the first period with an opportunity to take an early lead. Instead, the Sabres failed to generate any pressure and allowed the Predators to score a shorthanded goal, courtesy of Filip Forsberg.
The goal was actually the first shorthanded goal the Sabres have allowed this season, so kudos to them on that, but their efforts on those first two power plays were atrocious. The tic-tac-toe plays the Sabres are trying just aren't working. Buffalo needs to get the puck to the net and hope for a deflection or rebound.
Cody Franson & Zach Bogosian making things happen offensively
The Sabres scored twice in the second period and both Franson and Bogosian deserve major credit.
On Buffalo's first goal Franson saw Evander Kane in front of the net and they connected on a nice shot-pass. The redirected puck didn't go in, but there was a juicy rebound and Zemgus Girgensons was in the perfect spot to finish off the play. Nicely done, Mr. Franson.
But wait, there's more -- late in the second period Bogosian showed great patience and sent a perfect pass to Franson at the point. Like he did on the first goal, Franson sent a quick shot to the net, once again creating a juicy rebound that this time Jack Eichel was able to put in the back of the net.
Sure, it wasn't all good for the pair -- they made a sloppy play on Nashville's second goal -- but overall it was another solid game for the pair. It doesn't sound like McCabe or Gorges will be back soon, so to see this production out of the combination is promising.
He had an okay game -- didn't do anything spectacular, but also didn't make any incredibly costly mistakes. Kulikov hasn't been in the lineup since late December, it's going to take him a while to fully get back into the swing of things, so take what you saw on Tuesday with a grain of salt.
'Defending' odd man rushes
Yeesh, the Sabres struggle with odd man rushes. On Tuesday we saw this happen yet again on Nashville's first goal of the night. It just seems like every time the Sabres give up an odd man rush the opposing team scores a goal. That has definitely been a problem for Buffalo this year and is something that needs to be fixed before the year is done.
*Side note* -- This shouldn't EVER be an excuse -- but how brutal was the officiating tonight? It seemed like the stripes missed plenty of very obvious calls. There will always be questionable calls, that's just the nature of the beast, but on Tuesday I thought the officiating was abysmal.