There’s one word that describes the Sabres season and their performance against the Oilers Monday night at KeyBank Center: Collapse.
The 4-3 loss to Edmonton essentially puts to rest any hopes of snapping a seven year postseason drought as Buffalo now sits nine points back of the final Wild Card spot with 16 games remaining in the regular season.
Thanks to a 10-game winning streak and a 17-6-2 start to the season, Buffalo climbed to the top spot in the NHL standings.
They’ve been in perpetual freefall since and are now 13-22-6 since reaching the No. 1 spot in late November.
The night didn’t get off to the best of starts with Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl netting his 41st goal of the season on a short handed 2-on-1 with star center Conor McDavid.
The Sabres answered back emphatically Jack Eichel pulled the Blue & Gold even with his 24th of the season less than two minutes later.
Casey Mittelstadt would add his 10th of the year midway through the period while Eichel would tie a career high with his 25th tally of the season as the Sabres opened up a 3-1 advantage.
It’d stay that way until the final few minutes of the second period. Zack Kassian ripped home his 11th goal of the season off a feed from McDavid. Darnell Nurse tied the game a little more than two minutes later before Kyle Brodziak’s deflection gently slid past the goal line to give Edmonton a 4-3 advantage with 4.3 seconds to play in the period.
The Blue & Gold were booed off the ice and Carter Hutton would come in for cleanup duty in the final 20 minutes.
Jason Pominville had a chance to make it a 4-4 game with 3:36 left in regulation but he ultimately kept the puck out of the net with his own stick.