On Thursday the Buffalo Sabres squandered a two-goal lead to the Dallas Stars and saw their three-game win streak come to an end with a 4-3 loss.
Great look at the potential game-tying goal for Buffalo. Determined the puck didn't completely cross the line. pic.twitter.com/FUhdUE6hIV
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) January 27, 2017
Here's what I should've written: On Thursday the Buffalo Sabres scored five goals, but that wasn't enough to knock off the Dallas Stars who scored four goals. Math is hard sometimes.
Sorry friends, I'm going to go on a mini-rant about the end of the game.
That's a goal.
The National Hockey League screwed this one up.
@Matt_Bove First one. Pretty clear. Zoom in. pic.twitter.com/rWySjCk7ys
— Ronnie Femia (@RonFemia31) January 27, 2017
What makes it worse was that this was their second blown call of the evening, at least in my opinion. If the league is going to use video review then they have to use some common sense too. They can't keep calling everything inconclusive, it's ridiculous.
Here's the official statement from the league office:
"At 19:49 of the third period in the Sabres/Stars game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play at the Dallas net. Video review confirmed that the puck did not completely cross the Dallas goal line. No goal Buffalo."
Now that being said, the Sabres blew a 2-0 lead tonight and this game should've never come down to a pair of video reviews, but my goodness Buffalo got hosed.
Five Observations from Thursday's loss:
Disaster of a second period
On Thursday the Sabres played arguably one of their worst periods of the season. In the second frame, the Stars turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead, outshooting the Sabres 18-6.
If it wasn't for Evander Kane's second goal of the period would've looked even worse, if that is somehow possible.
Nilsson has a rough night
I'll admit it, I thought starting Nilsson was the right move on Thursday, but he struggled. It's not necessarily fair to criticize Nilsson because he was absolutely peppered -- but I think it's fair to say he let in two 'soft' goals. However, Cody Franson had an own goal, so Nilsson gets a pass on that one.
Playing with the lead
The Sabres haven't done a very good job at this lately.
Let's just look at their last five games fo a small sample size:
1/26 at Stars -- Score First: Yes Win: No
1/24 at Predators -- Score First: No Win: Yes
1/21 at Canadiens -- Score First: No Win: Yes
1/20 vs Red Wings -- Score First: No Win: Yes
1/17 at Leafs -- Score First: Yes Win: No
It just seems like the Sabres are a better team when they're playing from behind. I don't know if they're playing with more urgency when trailing, but the Sabres need to do a better job of protecting their leads.
Earlier in the season players have said that sometimes they take their foot off the gas pedal when they have a lead.
No, I don't think this trend will continue, obviously teams want to score first, but the Sabres need to do a better job of this from here on out.
Don't trade Evander Kane
Remember when everyone wanted the Sabres to trade Evander Kane? Well, they probably shouldn't do that.
On Thursday Kane kept his point streak alive with two goals and an assist. Kane now has six points in the Sabres last three games. While the mini streak is nice, this next stat is even more impressive. In Buffalo's last 25 games, Kane has 14 goals including 13 even strength goals. During that stretch, no other player has more even strength goals than Kane. Is that good?
After his slow return from injury, Kane has been one of the Sabres best and most consistent players. Unless the Sabres are going to get a really nice return for the young forward they should keep him in Buffalo.
The Thursday Curse
#Sabres are now 1-9-1 on Thursday this season. Thanks for @JeffRusack with his help on this one. pic.twitter.com/DqlFh6Yfjr
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) January 27, 2017
There's really no explaining this stat -- but on Thursday's this season the Sabres are now 1-9-1. For comparison, the Sabres are 8-2-3. Good news Sabres fans, Buffalo only has five more Thursday games this season.