BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Buffalo Sabres are back in the loss column, falling to the Colorado Avalanche 6-1 Tuesday night. Sam Reinhart scored the lone goal for the Sabres, his 19th of the season, while Carter Hutton and Jonas Johnasson combined to stop 21-of-27 shots. The Sabres will be back at home Thursday when they host Detroit.
4 observations from tonight's game
Honestly, this observation doesn't need much explaining because I'm pretty sure it's how every fan feels right now. The Sabres started things off out-shooting the Avalanche 7-1. With 8:53 left in the second period, each team had 13 shots yet the difference was that the Avs had five goals and the Sabres had just one. Yes, I know the roster is a little thin right now but there's not much production at all on any given night and I think the only thing that kept fans around was to see the debut of Jonas Johansson (more on that below).
The first goal of the game was one of the oddest scores I've seen because quite frankly, I'm not sure what was going on down on the ice. Following an initial shot, a scrum started to form to the first of Carter Hutton. I'm not sure if Hutton, Lawrence Pilut, and Zemgus Girgensons were watching the scrum or looking for the puck but it looked like Samuel Girard was the only one with his eyes on it as he grabbed it and easily put one past Hutton. The Sabres goalie has had some odd goals go in while in net and this one is right up there. It obviously didn't get any better. Hutton finished the night allowing five goals on 13 shots before being pulled. After a nice victory the other night, this one was probably hard for him to swallow.
When your starting goalie is having a bad night, the backup usually gets the call. In this case Jonas Johansson was ready, making his NHL debut just days after being called up from the Rochester Americans. Johansson was expected to see some action at some point during this stretch but I don't think the team anticipated him going in goal so early. He didn't walk into the greatest scenario and wound up allowing his first goal on the Avalanche's first shot since the change in net. Johansson stopped the rest of his shots, including a nice save to end the 2nd period, and while it wasn't a perfect outing it gave him some good experience as the team continues to play without their starting goaltender.
If you would've told me that Jean-Sebastian Dea, Rasmus Aspland, Evan Rodrigues, Zach Bogosian, and Jonas Johansson would all see time on the ice for a February game I would've thought you were crazy. Alas, here we are. Victor Olofsson, Linus Ullmark, and Kyle Okposo have been out of the lineup with injuries and before today's game we learned three more players would be out for various reasons: Curtis Lazar with an illness, Johan Larsson with a lower-body injury, and Rasmus Dahlin with an upper-body injury (all are considered day-to-day). A depleted roster is just the latest hit this team is taking and with 29 regular season games left, hopes of fighting for a postseason spot continues to dwindle.