Time running short for missed opportunity
The Sabres had the day off on Monday, looking to recover from Sunday's third period loss to the Penguins.
The sting is still lingering a bit. After falling down two goals to Pittsburgh Sunday, the Sabres fought all the way back to even the game on Thomas Vanek's league leading twelfth goal of the season. They took the lead on a Steve Ott goal, but then the trouble seeped in. Defensive zone mistakes allowed the Penguins to score twice in the final 13 minutes of the game.
"Every one (loss) hurts just as much," said captain Jason Pominville. "A loss is a loss. It's two points in the standings whether it's 5-1 or 4-3 or whatever it is, it's a loss and you gotta move forward."
But this one was especially costly. There was real reason to think the Sabres would manage two points against the team who is now at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. But instead, they fall three games below 500 (6-9-1). They're four points out of the playoffs in a year where deficits will be heavily magnified.
"I think you can take more positives than negatives out of this game," Steve Ott said after the loss. "I don't care, all the naysayers in here, where everybody's looking for excuses or disappointment. It's easy to run off negativity. Negativity gets thrown out the window in a game like this.
"Obviously we're disappointed that we didn't win or collect points. But you know what, to show the character I thought of this group, to continue to battle back, save face in this organization and give us a chance to win (Sunday), that's what it's all about."
The Sabres host the Jets at 7:00 Tuesday evening. Winnipeg has won just two of their last eight, and enters the matchup tied for last place in the conference.