Sabres lay an egg in Columbus, but still get a point

October 7, 2019
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(WGR 550) - Linus Ullmark stood on his head making 27 saves in the first two periods and it allowed his team to be tied 2-2. Ullmark made three acrobatic saves on a Columbus power play, especially one on Gus Nyqvist directly in front. It didn’t end there as Ullmark stole a point making 40 saves to get the game to overtime. He is the only reason the Sabres had one point and a chance for two.

I probably would’ve started Carter Hutton in goal only because I wouldn’t have wanted to mess with anything from the first two games, but Ullmark is the only reason his team even had a chance.

Columbus was mad after losing its first two games by a combined score of 11-3. They put enormous pressure on the Sabres causing numerous turnovers.

For the first time all season a period didn’t go Buffalo’s way and they left the first trailing 2-0. The Blue Jackets scored at 18:09 and 19:05 and out shot Buffalo 14-6.

Right before Columbus scored I tweeted out that even though it was Buffalo’s worst period of the year, it wasn’t awful. At the time the shots were 8-6 and right after that, Columbus had the last six shots of the period and two goals in 56 seconds.

Buffalo came into the game 4-for-6 on the power play, but in their first attempt, Jeff Skinner made a sloppy play and Alexander Wenneberg walked in alone, only to be robbed by Ullmark.

I really can’t go through all the saves Ullmark made to keep this close, but his teammates were sloppy for most of the night and didn’t do all that much battling facing a really hungry team.

What I take out of this is Buffalo continued to play poorly, yet recovered from a two goal deficit to get to overtime.

The overtime goal came when Jack Eichel has possession of the puck in his defensive corner. Rasmus Ristolainen fanned off the give Eichel a clean outlet behind the net and Victor Olofsson stayed on the wall to give him an outlet the other way up the boards. Eichel tried to do too much and Nick Foligno took the puck from him and found a wide open Alexandre Texier going to the net. He was wide open because Buffalo had the puck and two guys were getting in position to break out.

Buffalo got the point because of the fantastic play by Ullmark. They also got it because of a boneheaded faceoff move by Boone Jenner. He wins the draw with his glove which is illegal and gave Buffalo a 6-on-4 with Ullmark pulled. Rasmus Dahlin finds Olofsson in his office for a one-timer making Buffalo 6-for-10 on the season with the man advantage. Dahlin now has five points in three games.

After playing two near perfect games, the Sabres didn’t work and they didn’t skate in this one. They got out shot 44-18 and somehow have still haven't lost in regulation this season.

I can say I like the way Marcus Johansson and Colin Miller played in this game and this season. Johansson gives them a smart, hardworking option at center and Miller can pass and defend with the best of them.

I’ll be interested to see how this team reacts after a poor performance. They get three games in a row at home starting Wednesday against Montreal.