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Sabres V Preds Game 24

Four games in 6 nights certainly marks a rough patch in a schedule, and the Buffalo Sabres showed what kind of toll it can take by losing to the Nashville Predators 2-0 on home ice.
To be fair, both teams played an uninspired game from start to finish, which makes sense when you consider that the Predators played 3 games in 5 nights. There were few exciting scoring chances on either side of the ice and the game’s pace was both stilted and broken. It was likely due to the coaches changing their lines more frequently – it’s a little harder for the players to get flow going when they’re being taken off the ice so quickly.
One of Nashville’s goals was a fluke. It was a hard shot that Miller would have stopped if it didn’t take a strange bounce over him and into the net. One would expect the team to get a little fired up after a goal like that, especially on home ice, but it was obvious they were completely worn-down from the last few games.
The second was also due to an odd turn of events, but it highlights how poorly the Sabres deal with unexpected pressure in their own zone. Spacek tried to clear the puck out of the zone, but hit the referee. The Predators jumped on the opportunity to set up shop and every Sabre on the ice scrambled – Miller included. Shea Weber took a hard shot from the point into traffic, which Miller shrugged aside. He uncharacteristically seemed to stop paying attention after that for a second – just a second – but it was enough. Former Sabre JP Dumont swooped in and buried it right-side past a diving Miller for his 5th on the season.
If the Sabres don’t find a way to regularly stop turnovers from turning into goals, or turning the puck over in general, they’re going to be in for a long season. They have been a lot better in every area in the last few games in every area except for turnovers. They seem to give their opponents a gift each game, and lately it’s been enough to put them away. The boys in Blue and Gold could definitely use the next few days to recharge their batteries. They’ll need it to take on the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

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