In a game that was at best embarrassing and at worst pathetic, the Buffalo Sabres gave up six unanswered goals and fell 6-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers.
It was the worst game of the season for Buffalo without a shadow of a doubt. The 24th place Flyers skated circles around the sixth place Sabres and the game became career day vs. Buffalo as a result. The team’s torrid 10 game winning streak is now a distant memory and the team has lost five in a row since.
Linus Ullmark was pressed into service once again with Carter Hutton day-to-day, and once again the Swede struggled. He can’t be blamed for the loss entirely since he had a high school team skating in front of him, but Philly scored a few Not Top 10 caliber goals, including a shorthanded tally from Claude Giroux in which Ullmark looked more like a cardboard cutout than a person. In his defense, Phil Housley should have pulled him after the score became 4-2. Leaving a guy in when he’s struggling that badly simply isn’t fair to him. Why Housley didn’t is anyone’s guess.
Philadelphia’s special teams are both amongst the worst in the NHL, yet Buffalo could still not score on three power plays in addition to the shorty they allowed. This team is reeling badly and needs to wake up soon or else it will find itself with a 10 game loosing streak before long.
The sole positive of the game for the Sabres is that Jack Eichel the goal scorer appears to have returned, as the captain had his second consecutive two goal game. He scored the opener on a beautiful shot less than five minutes in and then got another later in the first on a picture-perfect deflection of a Lawrence Pilut shot, giving the young defenseman his first NHL point.
The game after that was a complete and total train wreck, but Eichel rediscovering his scoring touch is a very good sign. He hasn’t been bad this season by any stretch (remember he is still fifth in the League in assists), but Buffalo will need more goals from him if they want to get out of this funk.
The Los Angeles Kings come to town next for a Tuesday night matchup that thank merciful God will not be on NBCSN. The Kings are a shell of their former selves and are eight games below .500 currently. This is a team Buffalo cannot lose to. But at the same time, so was Philly.