Sabres fall 4-0 to Pens, scoreless in three straight for first time ever
This season which for many fans offered hope for a playoff push has evolved into an ugly nightmare.
The Pittsburgh Penguins shut out the Sabres tonight at the KeyBank Center, 4-0.
The 6-16-4 Sabres are on pace for 50 points. The only season which saw Buffalo with a lower total was in 2012-13, when the Sabres tallied 48 points in a 48-game lockout-shortened campaign.
There’s really no way to sugarcoat what’s taken place over the first 26 games of the season. It’s been worse than even the naysayers could have imagined. Buffalo’s 55 Goals For is easily the lowest in the league, and they trail 29th-place Florida by six points. Franchise center Jack Eichel is in a scoring slump and is raising some eyebrows with his recent lack of production.
After putting a positive spin on things in previous postgame pressers, Phil Housley has resorted to using terms like ’embarrassing’ to describe the play of his team, and rightfully so. The Sabres actually out-chanced the Penguins tonight, but it’s a horribly misleading stat and Housley didn’t try to fool anyone by playing that card this time.
This roster is in desperate need of a shakeup. Jason Botterill has inherited a collection of slow, underachieving players and has to find a way to get another team to take one or more of these guys off his hands. He did well in the trade that sent Marcus Foligno and Tyler Ennis to Minnesota for Marco Scandella and Jason Pominville, but that should only be the start of the new general manager really putting his stamp on the franchise.
The Sabres and Penguins will square off again Saturday night in Pittsburgh.
Some detailed stats from this game:
Even-strength scoring chances: Buffalo 22, Pittsburgh 13
Even-strength high danger scoring chances: Buffalo 8, Pittsburgh 7
Even-strength shot attempts: Buffalo 50, Pittsburgh 41
Power plays: Pittsburgh 0-1, Buffalo 0-4
Individual shot attempts leaders: Buffalo – Bogosian 7, Pouliot 7, Ristolainen 5; Pittsburgh – Cole 5, Kuhnhackl 5, four players with 4
Buffalo’s ice time leaders: defensemen- Ristolainen 22:34, Beaulieu 21:19, Bogosian 20:48; forwards- Eichel 20:28, Kane 19:55, Reinhart 18:42
Buffalo’s 5-on-5 corsi leaders % (offensive zone start %): Bogosian 68.57 (41.67), Pominville 66.67 (75), Moulson 64.29 (0.00)
Buffalo’s worst 5-on-5 corsi % (offensive zone start %): Eichel 41.38 (57.14), Ristolainen 43.33 (50.00), Reinhart 44.00 (66.67)
Goaltending: Lehner 25 shots faced, 21 saves, .840 save %