Sabres end season with 4-3 loss to the Panthers

April 07, 2018 - 6:49 pm

The Buffalo Sabres' disappointing 2017-18 season is over.

The Sabres drop their season finale 4-3 to the Florida Panthers on Saturday night in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers had a three-goal lead for most of the game, but the Sabres stormed back in the final minutes and nearly tied the game. Sam Reinhart scored his 25th goal of the year, that tied Jack Eichel for the team lead. Casey Mittelstadt added another assist to finish his six games in Buffalo with a goal and four assists.

Here's how the game played out:

First Period:

17:45 - PANTHERS GOAL. The Sabres take two early penalties to go down on a 5 on 3. One by Josh Gorges in what may be his final game as a Sabre. Also, one from Brendan Guhle. Both for tripping. Jonathan Huberdeau made the Sabres pay. 1-0 Florida.

9:01 - PANTHERS GOAL. Jordan Nolan lets Frank Vatrano get by him, who's shot is deflected in by Colton Sceviour. 2-0 Florida.

6:21 - PANTHERS GOAL. The Sabres don't look interested in this game. Nick Bjugstad comes in on a 2 on 1 and slips the puck under Chad Johnson's pad. 3-0 Florida. 

End of Period

Goal Summary:

FLA: 3:04 - Jonathan Huberdeau (PP) (27) (Vincent Trocheck, Aaron Ekblad); 10:59 - Colton Sceviour (11) (Frank Vatrano); 13:39 - Nick Bjugstad (19) (Evgenii Dadonov, Jared McCann)

Penalty Summary:

BUF: 1:11 - Josh Gorges (2 min., tripping); 2:16 - Brendan Guhle (2 min., tripping)
FLA: 8:37 - Nick Bjugstad (2 min, high-sticking)

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 10 ; FLA: 12


Second Period:

20:00 - Adam Wilcox is in net for the Sabres. It's his first NHL action of his career. Wilcox becomes the 50th goalie in Sabres history to play in a game. 

10:35 - Neither team is playing very inspired hockey right now. It seems both teams have their eyes on the offseason. 

4:04 - On the powerplay, Casey Mittelstadt speeds to the net and feeds Alex Nylander in front for a great chance. The kids have come to play tonight, especially Mittelstadt. 

End of Period

Goal Summary:


Penalty Summary:

BUF: 9:25 - Scott Wilson (2 min., tripping)
FLA: 14:10 - Nick Bjugstad (2 min., high-sticking)

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 10 (20); FLA: 11 (23)


Third Period:

14:03 - Adam Wilcox has played very well since coming into the game. He hasn't given up a goal and has made several nice saves. 

10:00 - The countdown is on. T-minus ten minutes to go until the offseason. 

6:58 - Ryan O'Reilly has broken the NHL record for most faceoff wins in a season. The record was previously held by Rod Brind'Amour in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes. 

4:30 - SABRES GOAL. Jason Pominville puts in his 16th of the season. Casey Mittelstadt and Evan Rodrigues both made nice passes leading to the goal. 3-1 Florida.

4:09 - SABRES GOAL. Just like that it's 3-2. Sam Reinhart scores his 25th of the year just 21 seconds after Pominville's goal. Reinhart ties Jack Eichel for the team lead in goals. 3-2 Florida.

1:23 - PANTHERS GOAL (EN). Vincent Trocheck taps the puck into the empty net to seal the game. 4-2 Florida.

0:15 - SABRES GOAL. One last chance for the Sabres. Ryan O'Reilly puts in a bad angle goal to make it 4-3 Florida with 15 seconds to go. 

End of Season

Goal Summary:

BUF: 15:30 - Jason Pominville (16) (Evan Rodrigues, Casey Mittelstadt); 15:51 - Sam Reinhart (25) (Brendan Guhle); 19:45 - Ryan O'Reilly (PP) (24) (Jack Eichel)
FLA: 18:37 - Vincent Trocheck (EN) (31) (Colton Sceviour, Jared McCann)

Penalty Summary:

FLA: 19:16 - Radim Vrbata (2 min., delay of game)

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 21 (41); FLA: 4 (27)


BUF: Chad Johnson - 12 saves; Adam Wilcox - 14 saves
FLA: James Reimer - 38 saves

Power Play:

BUF: 1 for 3 (33.3%)
FLA: 1 for 3 (33.3%)

What's Next

The NHL Draft Lottery is on April 28th. The Sabres have the best odds in the league with an 18.5% chance to win the first overall. The worst the Sabres can draft is with the fourth overall pick. 

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