Sabres Suffer Third Period Collapse, Lose 3-2

Sabres Suffer Third Period Collapse, Lose 3-2

The Buffalo Sabres met the Arizona Coyotes Sunday night just one day after their devastating loss to the Colorado Avalanche. The Sabres played the 29th and 30th teams in the league and came away with zero points. Missing their chance to pull to within five points of the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second Wildcard spot.

Jack Eichel opened the scoring with his 14th as he skated in the zone a let a rocket wrister zip into the net for the 1-0 Sabres lead at the 18:01 mark of the opening frame. Josh Gorges picked up the lone assist. Shots after one favored the Sabres 12-7.

GLENDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 26: Evan Rodrigues #71 of the Buffalo Sabres is congratulated by teammates after scoring a second period goal against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on February 26, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

Then at 9:53 of the 2nd we saw a tic tac toe play that started out with Jack Eichel carrying the puck into the Coyotes zone passing it to Jake McCabe who then passed it to Evan Rodrigues who fired a bullet into the net for his 2nd goal of the season. With his 2nd goal in as many night’s Rodrigues now (3g,3a) six points in 12 career NHL games played. Shots after 40 minutes favored the Sabres 19-17.

Buffalo came out of the intermission enjoying a 2-0 lead, maybe a little too much. Instead of remaining aggressive they allowed Arizona a window of opportunity to capture the momentum in this game. At 6:42 Max Domi (7) found a gift sitting in the slot and fired the biscuit past Anders Nilsson to cut the Sabres lead in half at 2-1. Radim Vrbata picked up the lone assist on the goal.

Arizona tied the score at two apiece just under seven minutes later when Jamie McGinn tapped in his 9th  from Josh Joors and Jakob Chychrun. From then on you had one team in panic mode and the other with all the confidence and momentum. What happened? The colossal collapse was completed with just 19 seconds left on the clock as Radim Vrbata fired the dagger into the hearts of many for his 15th from Alex Goligoski and Max Domi. The last few seconds ran off the clock while two points slipped through the Buffalo Sabres fingers, again.

These two losses should not have happened, but they did. And now it just makes it even harder on any hopes of making the playoffs.  “It’s frustrating, these are the ones we need to have, we are slowly pissing our chances away,” Jack Eichel said after the game.

The Sabres next contest will be Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators back on home ice at 7:00 p.m. The Sabres now have only 21 games left on their schedule.

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