The Sabres record tying winning streak ends at 10

November 30, 2018

Tampa, FL (WGR 550) - The streak ended on Thursday, but the Sabres went down fighting. Both teams played an entertaining game, but the Sabres couldn’t break their team record by getting their 11th straight win.

Buffalo had a good push in the third period and took the lead on a Tage Thompson goal, but the Lightning finally got a power play goal followed by a goal where Carter Hutton was screened by Jason Pominville to win it.

The atmosphere in that building was like a playoff game. The fans from Buffalo were loud chanting “Let’s go Buffalo” and signing the Shout song after Buffalo went up 4-3. The Sabres left that building knowing they left everything on the ice and served notice to the Lightning that they’ve arrived.

It didn’t help that Jake McCabe only played 7:30 due to an undisclosed injury. The team really missed his play. Nate Beaulieu got a 10-minute misconduct forcing Rasmus Ristolainen to play 28:52, Rasmus Dahlin to play 25:51 and Zach Bogosian to play 25:05. Between that and having to kill five penalties, it’s a big reason why the Sabres only generated 12 shots in the first 40 minutes.

The Sabres and Lightning played an exciting first period. Tampa Bay had the first eight shots of the period before taking a 1-0 lead at 2:59. Dan Girardi was allowed to come in from the right point and get two whacks at the puck because Remi Elie never got there.

The Sabres put two goals together in 1:03 when Zemgus Girgensons tipped in Ramus Ristolainen shot. It was a great screen in front by Girgensons who said he didn’t know it hit him.

Sam Reinhart was the beneficiary of good work by Jack Eichel and Bogosian to score his fourth. The puck popped up on Louis Domingue and rolled down his arm and in.

Casey Mittelstadt was weak on J.T. Miller cutting to the net and the Lightning tied it and then Dahlin had a horrible read not realizing all three forwards were in deep and stepping up. Nikita Kucherov led a 3-on-1 and he won’t miss very often on that.

Eichel sent a puck to the crease and banked it in off of Reinhart to tie the game once again. The Sabres only had 12 shots against a shaky goalie after two periods because they spent too much time in the penalty box.

In the third, Tage Thompson and Steven Stamkos traded goals just about two minutes apart.

Now that it's over, let’s take a look at how the 10-game record tying winning streak came about.

If it wasn’t for the Rangers Henrik Lundqvist, the Sabres would already had a team record 12-game winning streak heading into the game against the Lightning.

Lundqvist stood on his head beating the Sabres 2-1 at Madison Square Garden. The game before that, the Sabres blasted Ottawa 9-2.

Buffalo went to Montreal on Nov. 8 and won Game 1 of the streak in a track meet over Montreal. Former Sabre Nick Deslauriers scored a shorthanded goal on Linus Ullmark just before the second period ended to give the Canadiens a 5-4 lead.

Hutton started the third period and Jeff Skinner tied the game sending things into overtime. Hutton only faced five shots in his 21:38 of work to earn the win thanks to a Ristolainen goal.

Win No. 2 came at home against Vancouver. The Canucks led 3-1 in the third period and it was a very unexciting affair. Late in the third period, Phil Housley pulled his goalie and Skinner scored at 17:33 and Sam Reinhart tied it at 18:13.

Casey Mittelstadt’s slick shootout goal won it for the blue and gold.

In win No. 3, the Sabres got out played by the Lightning, but Hutton stole them the win. Skinner and Kyle Okposo staked the Sabres to a 2-0 lead against Louis Domingue. Anthony Cirelli was the only one that could beat Hutton who made 29 saves. Nikita Kucherov hit the outside of the post just as time was running out, but Hutton was over there with his glove had the puck been on net.

Buffalo took to the road to play three good teams with the first contest in Winnipeg. The Jets again had all sorts of trouble solving Hutton after scoring on him once in the first period. Skinner tied the game on a power play goal early in the third and this time, it was Conor Sheary winning the game in a shootout.

The next night in Minnesota, Linus Ullmark gave up two week early goals and Minnesota had a 2-0 lead. Ullmark slammed the door after that stopping the Wild at every turn. Ullmark finished with 37 saves.

Buffalo got goals from Jake McCabe and Rasmus Dahlin to tie it and Jason Pominville’s backhand beat his former team with just 1:30 left to go.

Buffalo had to travel to Pittsburgh next and was down 4-1 in the second period. As you know, this team never panics and they didn’t that night either. Bogosian and Casey Nelson hit the back of the net before the period was over and Mittelstadt tied it at the 11:12 mark of the third period.

Jack Eichel came in over the blue line in overtime and fired a shot through goaltender Casey DeSmith and Buffalo had win No. 6.

The fans were primed and ready to welcome home their heroes and the Philadelphia Flyers were totally overmatched. The fans blew the roof off the place as Skinner, Thompson, Evan Rodrigues and Johan Larsson staked Buffalo to a 4-1 lead after 20 minutes. All the Sabres had to do was cruise the game into the garage for a 5-2 victory.

Montreal is the only team the Sabres have beaten twice in the streak. The Habs came to town and took a 2-1 lead in the third period, but the magic was still there as Skinner tied it with 2:26 left and won it with an overtime power play goal.

Win No. 9 came in Detroit with the Sabres blowing a 2-1 lead on a Anthony Mantha goal at 13:52 of the third period, but Ullmark was once again on top of his game stopping six of seven attempts in the shootout as well as 35 pucks in regulation. Reinhart’s backhand deke won the shootout.

The Sabres tied the record at home against San Jose blowing a 2-0 lead only to have Skinner once again win it in overtime.

During the 10-game streak, Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner both had 11 points. Skinner had 10 goals and one assist while Eichel had one goal and 10 assists.

Sam Reinhart had seven assists and nine points, while Rasmus Dahlin had a goal and eight assists for nine points and was plus-9. Rasmus Ristolainen notched eight points while Kyle Okposo had seven points and was plus-10.  

In goal, Hutton was 8-0-0 with a 1.97 goals against and .936 save percentage. Ullmark was 2-0-0 with a 3.28 goals against and .917 save percentage.

Last season I think the Sabres might have lost that game 7-2, but now despite mistakes, they stayed in it the whole way