41 Notches 41 Saves, Not Enough
Updated: Nov 29, 2022
The Buffalo Sabres fell to the Metropolitan leading New Jersey Devils 3-1. Goaltender Craig Anderson matched a career high 41 saves, his highest ever as a Sabres. He posted shutouts in the first and third period but The Sabres offense couldn't break through the defense of the Devils.
In the first period the Sabres were unable to come out with the same motivation they had just two nights earlier in their 6-2 win over the Blues. The devils were in full control for the first 10 minutes despite never capitalizing.
A face-off violation led to the first and only power play of the period around the 10-minute mark, in favor of Buffalo. This was the first time and offensive energy seemed to grow for the Sabres. However the second they were back to even play, the puck and momentum sat back with New Jersey.
The closing minutes of the period were where Buffalo played some of their best hockey, making up a majority of their seven shots in the back half of the period. No goals were scored but it felt like someone was on the doorstep by the end of 20 minutes.
In the second period the Devils momentum came to fruition as they scored the opening goal just two minutes in. Less than five minutes later they bagged their second as Jesper Boqvist got a lucky bounce off Anderson's save and the puck wound up in the back of the net.
The Sabres finally caught a break as Casey Mittelstadt found Victor Olofsson for a beautiful breakaway goal, Olofsson scoring in a foot race scenario. Not long after though, New Jersey answered to keep their two goal lead going into the third period.
The third was another scoreless affair. Anderson stood on his head to try and lead the Sabres back, at one point stacking the pads to deny a three on one fast break. The defense of New Jersey proved too much though.
"Their defense, I thought, was pretty dominant pretty early. denied our exits, denied our movement out of our end quick and that put a little bit of extra pressure on us... it's a very very good group of defensemen." - Sabres Head Coach Don Granato
Coach Granato also attributed the loss to multiple players just not being able to find their game and make plays.
"I know our guys didn't feel good, I could tell by the way they did things, the way they moved the puck."
With this loss the Sabres now move to 9-12-0 on the season and hold the interesting line of 2-9 when trailing entering the third period. The Sabres next game will be Monday November 28th. They host The Tampa Bay Lightning.