Sabres suffer 6-2 embarrassment in Minnesota
Well, that was ugly.
Nino Niederreiter had a hat trick, and linemates Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund each had three point nights, as the Wild scorched the Sabres by a 6-2 score.
As has been the case pretty much all season, lack of defensive awareness was a major issue for the Sabres and contributed to a few of Minnesota’s goals. Rasmus Ristolainen was as guilty as anyone, and on top of that got a major penalty and an ejection for a hit that cut Koivu in the face midway through the first period. Ristolainen played all of 5:43 in the game. The hit on Koivu didn’t appear to be a head shot so a game misconduct seemed a bit extreme.
It’s been discussed at length all season, but the Sabres defense is just playing too passive a game in their own zone. They give up the blue line so easily that it puts them at a constant disadvantage.
Zach Bogosian ended up leading the Sabres in ice time with 25:32.
Evander Kane and Sam Reinhart scored for Buffalo. The Sabres are right back at it Friday night in Winnipeg.
Some stats from tonight’s game:
Even-strength scoring chances: Buffalo 18, Minnesota 16
Even-strength high danger scoring chances: Minnesota 8, Buffalo 8
Even-strength shot attempts: Buffalo 42, Minnesota 39
Power plays: Minnesota 1-3, Buffalo 0-3
Individual shot attempts leaders: Buffalo – Scandella 7, Eichel 5, Bogosian 5; Minnesota – Staal 6, Niederreiter 6, three players with 5
Buffalo’s ice time leaders: defensemen- Bogosian 25:32, Scandella 24:06, McCabe 20:38; forwards- Eichel 18:41, Kane 17:45, Reinhart 16:17
Buffalo’s 5-on-5 corsi leaders % (offensive zone start %): Ristolainen 88.89 (100.00), Pominville 71.43 (100.00), Scandella 62.50 (100.00)
Buffalo’s worst 5-on-5 corsi % (offensive zone start %): Nolan 25.00 (75.00), Larsson 33.33 (80.00), Josefson 36.36 (80.00)
Goaltending: Lehner 17 shots faced, 11 saves, .647 save %, Johnson 10 shots faced, 10 saves, 1.000 save %