Buffalo Sabres Win a Game, End Losing Streak at 18

buffalo sabres win

The Buffalo Sabres have finally won a game. Their 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers ends a run of 18 consecutive losses which is the joint-longest losing streak in NHL history. Buffalo’s miserable 36-day stretch included 15 regulation losses, six injuries, five shutouts, four goalies, three coaches, two trades and a three-goal third-period meltdown. They hold joint-custody of the losing-streak record with the abysmal 2003-04 Pittsburgh Penguins.

Buffalo Sabres Losing Streak Ends at 18

After 1147:59 of hockey since February 23rd, the Sabres have finally claimed a win.

During their dire winless run, the Sabres were outscored 74-30 in all situations and held the worst expected goal share percentage (41.08 percent) in the league. This season, they have lost to every team in their division at least three times, except for the Boston Bruins who they have only played twice (0-2-0).

This recent stretch of games all but assures that Buffalo will miss the playoffs for the tenth straight season. But there have been statistics to suggest that the team was bad, irrespective of the streak.

In 2020-21, Buffalo’s goaltending ranks 29th in the league with 88.92 percent. This is despite, Linus Ullmark‘s stellar .920 save percentage in 15 games. All Sabres’ backup goaltenders have combined for a measly .886 save percentage in 23 games.

On the offensive side of things, Buffalo has been shutout the same number of times as they have won games (seven). Worse still, Jack Eichel, Taylor Hall, Victor Olofsson, Jeff Skinner and Rasmus Dahlin have scored a combined seven goals on 253 shots at five-on-five (2.8 shooting percentage).

What This Means Going Forward

As the NHL Trade Deadline approaches, the Sabres are undoubtedly listening to offers on any and all of their players, save perhaps Dylan Cozens. Unsurprisingly, most of the speculation centres around Taylor Hall. However, given the cash-strapped nature of this year, it is unlikely that a major deal can be worked out without some money being retained.

Buffalo is currently 31st in the NHL with a .271 points percentage. The next closest teams in the standings are the Detroit Red Wings and the Anaheim Ducks (both tied with .378).

Although there remains one crumb of comfort for Sabres fans. With the NHL’s recent change to the draft lottery odds, if the Sabres were to finish bottom of the league, the lowest they will pick is third overall. According to Hockey Viz, if Buffalo finishes last, they will have an 18.5 percent chance of the first overall pick.

**All statistics sourced from Natural Stat Trick unless otherwise stated.

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