Game 62: Getting goalie'd in a fun house of shots
You literally can't win them all in an 82-game season, but in a run-and-fun-and-gun 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, the Buffalo Sabres sometimes the chances get stopped.
BUFFALO — There’s a glass half-full, glass half-empty philosophical argument that happens when a team gets beaten by a goalie having a great night and sometimes they’re both right.
During the Sabres’ 3-2 loss to the Oilers on Monday night, Edmonton rookie goalie Stuart Skinner had one hell of a night. He made 37 saves and held the ever-potent Buffalo offense to two goals. Any team, any night against the Sabres will take that and run away and hide with it win or lose.
From the Sabres point of view, they can be pleased with the performance and how the chances they generated made Edmonton have to earn every bit of the game. Via NaturalStatTrick.com, the scoring chances in all situations were 35-33 in favor of Buffalo and at 5-on-5 they were 30-28 in favor of Edmonton, negligible differences. The Oilers carried the game with the advantage in shot attempts and expected goals and all that fun stuff, but the Sabres had numerous high-quality opportunities snuffed out by Skinner.
These things happen.
“I thought we had great energy all the way through the game,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “That’s No. 1, we need to be dialed in, focused, play with energy, play with pace. A combination of all that is how we want to play. So the one thing we need to do is play the way we want to play, and I felt we did that tonight.”
A team doing what they want to do but ultimately being denied and coming out on the short end of things happens in a season plenty of times. It also happens in reverse where a team plays like total crap and rolls out of the building with two points. Sports are funny like that, and you knew that already. Nine times out 10 if the Sabres play a game with that kind of pace and attack, they’re going to come away with some sort of reward.
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