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The studio guys said the Sabres were outskated. “The Senators were the better team,” they said. And who can argue with a 5-2 loss on home ice in Game One on Thursday night? Not exactly the way you want to start off the series!
I’m not sure overall the Sens were better, but man, our special teams is either off-the-charts bad, or those guys are fantastic. Two power play goals and a short handed goal (two breakaway chances on the Sabres first power play, with one of those resulting the in the SH goal.) That really set the tone for the rest of the game.
Ottawa did look like they wanted it just a little bit more. The Sabres came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie it in the second period. But on an unfortunate play where a routine clear-out went right to an Ottawa player who threw it toward a teammate rushing toward the net, the Sabres found themselves down 3-2.
And that’s where it all fell apart. Passes were being missed, hustle was just not there… That’s when the Senators were the better team. They netted one more power play goal to make it 4-2 and ended the game by out-racing our defenseman to a puck and scoring an empty netter.
The Sabres get their second chance on Saturday. I actually expected Ottawa to get one of these first two games, just not the first one. Sabres have shown all year they are not afraid of adversity. For a brief moment I actually thought they could still win Game one, down only 2 goals with 2 minutes left. With this team, you never know!
It’s a long series… but not if they don’t (1) improve the special teams… they just have to, or it will be over fast! And (2) want it more. They have to want it more. Leave everything on the ice, as they say. They’ve done it before, and if they do it again, we’ll advance to the finals.
But we’re a long way from that tonight.
Game 2 – 8pm Saturday May 12th on Versus.