It was labeled the season’s biggest test thus far and couldn’t have begun any worse. The Sabres weren’t even five minutes into the opening period, and they were already two goals behind.
The period came to a close, down 0-3 and hearing boos as they skated to the friendly confines of their locker room to gather themselves somehow. Every player, coach, and fan knew this team must find a way to repair the damage done and get back into this game. There’s still 40 minutes to play, I’m sure they all told themselves.
The second frame was similar to the first. The Boston Bruins tacked on two more with goals from Oskar Steen and Hampus Lindholm, bringing the score to a whopping 5-0. What could the Buffalo Sabres tell themselves now that they didn’t already after the first intermission?
Adding insult to injury, Sabres star center Tage Thompson left the ice with an apparent leg injury, missing the final 15 minutes of the first period. However, he returned for the second period, which was short-lived. He left the ice for good after blocking a Charlie McAvoy shot. After the game, Head Coach Don Granato deemed his recovery to be long-term.
Sabres forward Victor Olofsson managed to cut into the Bruins lead; however, the damage had already been done. It was a little too late for the Sabres on a night where they honored Captain Kyle Okposo as he laced them up for the 1,000th game of his NHL career.
Bruins power forward David Pastrnak finished with 1 goal and two assists, while teammates Pavel Zacha and Charlie McAvoy added a pair of assists. Former Sabres netminder and Vezina winner Linus Ullmark last season made 30 saves on the night.
Sabres winger Victor Olofsson scored two goals, and Owen Power, Dylan Cozens, JJ Peterka, and Casey Mittelstadt scored a point. Late in the second period, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen replaced Sabres goalie Devon Levi.
Maybe a blessing in disguise is the Sabres heading out on a three-game road trip beginning Friday night in Winnipeg. Gametime will be at 8 pm Eastern.