OPINION: Sabres were much better, but 3:17 of bad play cost them against Columbus

Buffalo wasted some good performances from their younger players

Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) – With back-to-back games, the Buffalo Sabres looked much better and fresher in the second game on Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus scored two empty net goals at the end, so this was basically a 5-4 game.

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I thought Buffalo was much better creating a forecheck in the offensive zone and spent a lot of time on the attack. The Sabres outshot and outchanced the opponent for the first time in awhile, so why didn’t it translate into a win?

It’s because they fell completely apart for 3:17 of the second period. After three goals went in during that span, Buffalo was behind, 5-2.

At that point, the Sabres got right back to their game, but it was too late.

Dustin Tokarski was not sharp at all, allowing four goals on 12 shots in 20:55 of work. Aaron Dell played 38:30 and only allowed one goal on 15 shots, but unfortunately for him, that one goal was the game-winner, so he took the loss.

It was the young players that helped lead the way for the Sabres on Monday night. Tage Thompson scored twice, putting him on a pace for 36 goals by the end of the season.

Rasmus Dahlin has put together two-straight nights of very good hockey. He was excellent with the puck on Monday, and head coach Don Granato liked what he saw.

“Dahlin was a good example, he was really good last night in playing almost half the game, and then again tonight and he was good," Granato said following Monday's loss. "He looked like he was dynamic in the zone, and that’s because he didn’t carry any mental stress.”

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Dylan Cozens got walked by Max Domi on Columbus’ second goal of the night. Domi then found a wide-open Jack Roslovic for the goal. Cozens is young and will make those mistakes, but after that, he was a man on a mission and was one of Buffalo’s better players.

Cozens got that goal back when he hit top speed coming down the middle of the ice. Jeff Skinner found him for a nice goal.

Cozens was dangerous the rest of the night, and was one of the reasons Buffalo had a lot of good zone time. His goal made it 5-3 for Columbus, then on the power play, he got an assist on Thompson’s bomb from the top of the left circle to close the gap to 5-4.