The Buffalo Sabres’ last hope for entry into the playoffs fell with a 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. Despite adding the record-setting goalie prospect, Devon Levi, and his entry-level contract on Friday, the team collapsed under the defeat. Though Sabres’ general manager, Kevyn Adams, praised Levi’s talents, the team faced its bitterest loss of the season. What started out as a possible record-making day for the franchise ended up snatching its chances to narrow its Eastern Conference playoff deficit. The bleak result turned a formerly successful three-game road trip into a dismal end for the Sabres.
Midway through the second period, the Sabres’ hopes faded as they made critical mistakes leading to three goals. From that point, the Philadelphia team continued dominating through the rest of the game. Despite a small rally due to Victor Olofsson’s power-play goal, Buffalo’s inability to establish a pace hampered their play and turned the game over to the Flyers.
Buffalo’s frustrations stem from their usual strong offensive game, which has led to top playoff rankings this season, disappearing when they needed it most. They have been outscored 46-28 in their last ten games and young players have shown their inexperience time and time again in must-win matches.
However, even with the recent loss, Buffalo still has 14 games left to make a remarkable comeback. Furthermore, with the addition of Levi and other talented players, the Sabres have the potential to end their playoff drought since 2011. The next game against the Boston Bruins may be the last real opportunity for the Sabres to get back on track and continue their winning ways.
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