SABRES VS. STARS
JAN. 26, 2017:
Sabres fans must hate the draft lottery by now. It’s already cost them Aaron Ekblad and Connor McDavid. And this year, they finished just one point back of the Stars’ winning spot. Even in a weak draft year, the lottery gods couldn’t throw the Sabres a pity win.
Because the Sabres were so close to Dallas, we could highlight any Buffalo loss on the year as the one that cost them a lottery win. But we might as well go with one that features the Stars, because this one held a special kind of pain for long-suffering Sabres fans.
The two teams got all the scoring out of the way in the first two periods, with the Sabres jumping out to a 2-0 lead, the Stars answering with four straight, and Evander Kane cutting the Dallas lead to 4-3 at the end of the second. That was it for goals in the game. Sort of.
With nine minutes left, a goal-mouth scramble in the Stars crease was whistled dead. But when Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen got up, he left something interesting in the net: the puck. After a lengthy review – is there any other kind? – the play was ruled no goal. To make matters worse, the Sabres might’ve scored again in the dying seconds, only to have yet another review result in yet another no-goal call.
Combine those two calls with a failed offside challenge earlier in the game, and the Sabres went 0-for-3 on reviews and were left feeling robbed. Give the Sabres a win in this one, and they move past the Stars into 24th place at season’s end – and snag the No. 3 pick in the draft.
The Buffalo Sabres getting robbed by shady video reviews in a game against the Dallas Stars? Nice one, hockey gods. Real subtle.