The season for the Buffalo Sabres ended the same way it began — with a loss.
The Blue & Gold wrapped up one fo their worst years in franchise history in a 3-2 setback to the Florida Panthers in the season finale. Buffalo lost five straight to open the 2017-2018 campaign. They dropped four straight to end the year.
Buffalo ends the season with a 25-45-12 record and last in the NHL standing, a position they secured Wednesday night in a loss to the Ottawa Senators.
Chad Johnson, who surrendered six goals in the Sabres’ 7-5 loss to Tampa on Friday, gave up three more in the first period before giving way to Adam Wilcox who made his NHL debut.
The rookie stopped all 14 shots he faced.
Still trailing 3-0 in the third period, Jason Pominville collected his 16th goal of the season. He scored four goals in the final five games of the season. Casey Mittelstadt picked up an assist to give him five points in six games with the big club.
Sam Reinhart connected for his 25th goal of the year, his 20th since January 1, to pull Buffalo within one.
But, like all season, the push was too little too late. The Panthers scored an empty net goal with 1:22 to play, to secure the win.
Ryan O’Reilly tallied his 24th in the final seconds to make it a one goal game, again.