NHL News: Sabres extend winless streak in spectacular fashion; Avs point streak at 11 games; and more

Mar 29, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (14) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Buffalo Sabres during the third period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres extended their winless streak to 18 games. “It’s embarrassing,” soon to be traded Brandon Montour said after the game. “This whole stretch is embarrassing.” How embarrassing was it? Blowing a three goal lead to lose in OT embarrassing.

NHL News: Sabres blow it in spectacular fashion

It really looked like the Sabres were going to capture their first win since February 23. They had built up a 3-0 lead through two periods of play against the struggling Flyers.

Then it happened.

Kevin Hayes opened the scoring in the third period less than two minutes in. Claude Giroux cut the deficit to one midway through the period. Then with less than two minutes to play and victory so close, Sean Couturier tied it. Yet they still had a chance to reclaim victory. That was until Ivan Provorov scored 42 seconds into the OT session.

The streak continues with no end in sight.

“Not really any words, to be honest,” Sabres defenseman¬†Brandon Montour¬†said. “You go through a stretch like this, you can blame the system, blame coaches, blame other lines, you blame all those things, but I think in the end, you’ve got to be an NHL player. You go up 3-0 like that, especially as desperate as we are to just get two points, it’s embarrassing.¬†

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In other East action the Penguins remain hot and beat the Islanders again. This time by a 2-1 score to move into a second place tie. New York has now lost two games in a row while Pittsburgh has won four. More impressive was the fact that Casey DeSmith came in relief of Tristan Jarry who left with an upper-body injury and made 19 saves to secure the victory.

NHL News: The Avalanche point streak keeps getting bigger and bigger

avalanche streak
Mar 29, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin (13) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Anaheim Ducks in the third period at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado hasn’t lost in regulation since March 8. Their 5-2 win over the Ducks brings their point streak to 11 games. Cale Makar picked up three assists to spur the Avs offense. It’s been an impressive run and has them battling with the Vegas Golden Knights for first place. Vegas beat the Kings by a 4-1 score to maintain a one point lead in the standings.

“Their gap was a little farther back, so I figured I would just kind of take it,” Makar said. “I didn’t really plan on going around the net, I wanted to try and feed it in front. [Nichushkin] made a good play in terms of driving to the net, and I just kind of tried to throw it around and hope for a good bounce, and luckily it went right on his stick, and he put it right in.”

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The only other West game last night was the Sharks nipping the Wild by a 4-3 score in a shootout win. Minnesota remains comfortably in third place in the division. Quietly the Sharks have worked themselves to 6 points back of the Blues for the final playoff spot.

NHL News: Leafs and Oilers are the two most entertaining teams in the league

Darnell Nurse converted on a beautiful feed from Connor McDavid to lift the Oilers over the Maple Leafs in OT. Leon Draisaitl also picked up a helper on the game winner. Toronto kept the leading scorers in the NHL quiet up until that point with Auston Matthews adding another tally to his league leading goal total of 23. It was an important point for Toronto to maintain their hold on first place in the division by one point over the Jets. Winnipeg hammered the Flames 5-1 last night.

“As a team, we knew what we were capable of and we knew we were capable of getting in the win column here tonight,” Nurse said. “It was just a big win for us and something to build off of into the final stretch of the season. Smith, each and every night, he’s been unbelievable. He’s been making big saves like he did tonight in overtime.”

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