BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The effort was there but the result wasn't as the Sabres fell to the Calgary Flames 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday night. Jimmy Vesey scored the team's first shorthanded goal since March while Victor Olofsson added another. With the overtime loss, the Sabres are now 11-10-4. They're back on the ice Friday when they host Toronto.
5 Observations from tonight's game
For the first time in forever
Following the Sabres' first penalty kill of the night, I immediately started singing the chorus to Disney's Frozen song "For the first time in forever". That's because over the team's last nine games before tonight's, they allowed a power play goal in each game. That's a streak that dates back to November 8th when the team began a two-game series in Sweden with Tampa Bay. The Sabres wound up killing two penalties and even ended up taking advantage on one of them. See my third observation for more on that.
The struggle known as the power play
Remember my "for the first time in forever" lyrics to describe the penalty kill? Well there's another Frozen lyric that comes to mind when describing the Sabres power play as of late and that's "I never see you anymore, come out the door, it's like you've gone away". They had great opportunities tonight, especially on the second PP opportunity, but couldn't connect. While the Sabres have allowed a PP goal in nine of their last ten games, they've only managed to score one PP goal in the same period of time. They're 1-of-28 since November 8th.. just think about that. After starting the season off doing so well on the PP, it's been a giant headache to watch as of late.
Vesey getting that much-needed spark
During the off-season, the Sabres signed Jimmy Vesey and expected him to provide much needed secondary scoring. That wasn't the case though through the team's first 23 games with Vesey unable to land in the goal column. But during the team's 24th game earlier this week, Vesey got that monkey off his back and scored his first of the season. Our Matt Bove said it could "spark some offense for the winger" and for the time being, it looks like it may have. With the Sabres down in the second period, Vesey took advantage of a shorthanded opportunity to tie the game and notch his second of the season. He could always go cold, we've seen players do it before, but for now it's good to see Vesey get in on the action.
Failure to capitalize
The Sabres were fairly quiet in the first period, taking just two shots in the first ten minutes of game clock. They did have some chances though, some really good ones in fact, but couldn't capitalize. With the Flames on the power play, Rasmus Aspland had a really nice chance for a shorthanded goal but wound up hitting the post. Minutes later, the Sabres had a 3-on-1 but Eichel was unable to even get a shot off. When you don't capitalize, you allow the other team to have a shot and that's exactly what happened with the Flames taking a 1-0 lead before the first period was up.
Two more chances
After an outstanding October, there's many words to describe the month of November. The Sabres have just two wins this month in 12 games played. Those two wins sound even worse when you think about it this way: the Buffalo Bills have three wins and they've only played four games. With a home-and-home against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday and Saturday, the Sabres have two more chances to try and salvage what they have left of this month. If they go 0-for-2 this weekend, we're gonna call it "Nightmare November" to say the least.