OPINION: Sabres end successful road trip with 7-of-8 points

Buffalo comes away earning points in all four games of their Western Conference road trip

(WGR 550) – The Buffalo Sabres played another very good game on Saturday in Minnesota, but lost to the Wild in a shootout, 3-2.

While the loss broke Buffalo’s five-game winning streak, it can’t take away the fact the Sabres took seven out of eight possible points on their road trip.

The Sabres have picked up points in seven-straight games, going 5-0-2.

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I was impressed that the Sabres had energy throughout this game, as they wrapped up 13 games in 22 days. They really never showed much fatigue on this four-game trip.

During those 22 days of plentiful game action, the Sabres went 7-4-2.

Buffalo had a parade to the penalty box in the first period, but before that started, Jack Quinn got the puck on the wing, came out towards the blue line, curled into the slot and ripped home his eighth goal of the season past Marc-Andre Fleury.

The Wild did capitalize on one of the power plays when Luukkonen overplayed one shooter, taking himself out of the net. As he scrambled to get back in, he got tangled up with Rasmus Dahlin and didn't get back in time.

This season, Peyton Krebs has learned how to be an effective forechecker from his linemates Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo. He was tenacious behind the net and won the battle. Krebs got it out to the captain, who slid the puck to a wide-open Zemgus Girgensons.

Less than three minutes later, the Sabres, once again, had no idea that Jared Spurgeon had come in from the point, and it resulted in the game-tying goal.

Other than that, the scoring had ended in Minnesota for the rest of regulation and overtime.

Luukkonen was stellar again on Saturday, making 33 saves on 35 shots faced.

With that, all three goalies - Luukkonen, Eric Comrie and Craig Anderson - have only given up two goals in their last starts.

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Tage Thompson was the only player to score on Fleury in the shootout, while the Wild were 3-for-3 on Luukkonen.

Thompson created a lot of offense in the game for Buffalo, but it only resulted in a hit post and a crossbar.

Buffalo thought it had taken a 3-2 lead right at the end of the second period. A Rasmus Dahlin shot was fluttering into the net, but replays showed that time had just run out before the puck went into the Minnesota net.

Buffalo now trails the eighth place Pittsburgh Penguins by one point, as they’re even in games and done playing each other. Seventh place Washington is two points ahead, having played two more games. The Sabres still have two games left to play against the Capitals.

The team will have Sunday off, and actually will be able to practice for two days before playing the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday in Buffalo.

Photo credit Losi and Gangi
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