Quick Hits: Sabres at Canucks

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Buffalo made their second-stop on this three-game Western Conference road trip on Monday in Vancouver, to take on the Canucks and for the second-time in as many nights, the Buffalo Sabres found themselves on the wrong end of a lopsided score.

Just like night before, the Sabres would see themselves get on the board first. Tonight, it would be captain Brian Gionta who would do the honors. It would be a very pretty goal from Gionta, who showed off his impressive hand-eye coordination.

Mirroring how last night’s game in Edmonton went, the Sabres fell apart shortly after scoring the first goal.

Less than 2 minutes after Gionta’s goal, Radim Vrbata’s 7th of the season tied the game up. It would not be the last time we heard from Vrbata in this game.

Vancouver appeared to be grabbing the overall momentum, when they appeared to score their 2nd goal. The referees immediately waived off the goal after the puck appeared to be shoved into the net after play was called.

That missed opportunity didn’t slow the Canucks down, and this is where Radim Vrbata shows up again.

 

Just the tip, y’all. What a great piece of hockeying right there.

Vrbata’s 2nd of the season, and 8th of the season at 16:42, pushed the Vancouver Canucks ahead 2-1.

If you think things could not get any worse for the Sabres, the second period was a revelation. The period was very unkind to the sloppy Buffalo Sabres.

Brandon Prust broke a very long goal-less streak early in the second period, when he snapped a wrist shot past Linus Ullmark. Prust’s 1st of the season, at 4:34 of the second, pushed Vancouver’s lead to 3-1.

As the period progressed, it was clear that this was Vancouver’s game to lose. They had the Buffalo Sabres in their back pocket, making Buffalo play their game.

The Buffalo Sabres headed to the penalty kill late in the second, due to an Evander Kane hooking penalty. On the kill, someone thought it would be a good idea to not defend Henrik Sedin. Bad idea.

Sedin’s 9th goal of the season at 17:18 of the second period, on the power play, pushed Vancouver’s lead to 4-1.

Buffalo would need some sort of miracle to complete the improbable in this game.

It would appear if maybe Buffalo finally figured it out, early in the third period.

A fantastic play from Ryan O’Reilly, where he was dragged to the ice but he remained possessing the puck. O’Reilly passed the puck to Sam Reinhart. Reinhart was left all alone, and he would not be stopped.

Reinhart’s 8th goal of the season, at 1:51 of the third, cut Vancouver’s lead to 4-2. This is as close as Buffalo would get to a comeback.

Radim Vrbata would complete his hat trick, at 14:28 of the third period, which means he scored a 1/3 of his season-total in goals tonight. Crazy how hockey works sometimes. Vrbata’s 9th of the season pushed Vancouver to 5-2, which ended up being the final score of this hockey game.

With this loss, Buffalo remains stuck in 7th in the Atlantic Division and 13th in the Eastern Conference, with 23 points.

Buffalo wraps up their road trip this Thursday night, when they stop at the Saddledome to take on the Calgary Flames.

Now, for the hits:

 

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    • Samson.

Let’s talk about something very exciting for a moment. The exciting thing is named Sam Reinhart, and he is a v good hockey player guy.

Reinhart, as mentioned, tallied his 8th goal of the season tonight. He appears to be handling the promotion to the first line with absolute grace, all while actually earning his ice time.

Remember when Lindy Ruff made Luke Adam top dog, but Adam was really poor so he fizzled out? Yeah, this isn’t Ruff and Adam.

Tonight further highlights how far Reinhart has come in such a short time.

In a game where the Sabres played disgustingly bad hockey, Reinhart still chalked up an 84.4 CF% in all situations. Wow.

Playing on a line with possession-monsters Evander Kane and Ryan O’Reilly has really helped develop Reinhart into a possession-monster in his own right.

See, not everything about the Sabres sucks right now.

    • West Coast Games Suck.
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Friends, West Coast games are the worst. I am being that guy, and I’m not sorry.

It is so relaxing to catch a game at 7 PM, be done by 9:30 PM and still have the evening.

Right now, as I write this wonderfully informative recap, I am falling asleep on a couch listening to Claude Debussy. Things aren’t so bad, but damnit..I would be happier if this game was earlier.

Nothing worse than staying up for a West Coast game that ends up sucking badly. This was that game. Now I see why reasonable adults actually just sleep through the game and get the recap in the AM in their newspapers or something.

P.S. – What is a “newspaper”?

    • Welcome back, Mike Weber.
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Word up, girl.

    • But, Brian Gionta Scored!
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That’s cute.

    • Five

Insert words here.

Written by Ryan Wolfe

Ryan Wolfe is the founder and editor-in-chief of BLTD Sports. He can be heard on the BLTD Podcast. Ryan's writing is also featured over at TheHockeyWriters.com.

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