Sabres’ forward shuffle produces lots of chances, still not enough goals

New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (40) blocks a shot by Buffalo Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt (37) during the third period at the Nassau Coliseum on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, in Uniondale, N.Y.

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Mike Harrington

UNIONDALE – Ralph Krueger can shuffle his forwards any way he wants, but the Buffalo Sabres simply don’t score enough. 

On the road against a strong opponent, the Sabres put a strong effort on the ice Monday, but it didn’t matter. They lost to the New York Islanders 3-2 on Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s power-play goal with 4:52 left.

The Sabres dominated the shots on goal count at 36-23 – and the Islanders only had five in the game’s first 34 minutes. The shots attempted were 59-48, also in Buffalo’s favor. Quite a departure from last week’s two losses to the Islanders at home. Same result.

“It’s extremely painful. We need ‘Ws’ right now, so good games don’t count,” Krueger said. “This is going to be a tough one to swallow. … It was not enough offense. When you look at that game, even if they score three, we could have had five or more.

“This is probably the most painful loss of the season for the way we were able to actually neutralize them, create opportunities, but we come out on the short end of the stick again and we have to be responsible for that.”

Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s power-play goal with 4:52 left snapped a…

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