BUFFALO, N.Y. — Eighteen is a right of passage age for most of us, and the Buffalo Sabres have reached that milestone without as much pride on Monday night by hitting an 18-game winless streak with a game they should have had in the bag.
The winless streak does not end at 17 because of another 20 minutes when the Sabres let the wheels fall off. Buffalo allowed the Philadelphia Flyers to comeback from a 3-0 third period deficit and win the game 4-3 in a shootout.
Henri Jokiharju got the scoring started late in the first period, and the Sabres carried that 1-0 lead in to the second period. Cody Eakin and Brandon Montour would each notch their second goals of the season in the second period before Kevin Hayes eventually got past Linus Ullmark - in his second game of his return from a month-long injury absence - early into the third period.
The Flyers didn't make things easy - tacking on goals from Kevin Hayes and Claude Giroux in the third to pull within a one-goal game.
Sean Couturier scored with 1:29 left in the game to tie it up, and the Sabres lost abruptly in overtime when Ivan Provorov scored 42 seconds into three-on-three.
Philadelphia had lost four of its previous five games before its trip to Buffalo and was a potential target for Buffalo to snap its winless streak in a difficult East Division, including the Islanders, Capitals, Penguins, Bruins, Rangers and Devils along with the Flyers and Sabres.
During a COVID-19 condensed season, the Sabres are in the middle of a busy four-game week at home. Buffalo hosts Philadelphia again on Wednesday before welcoming the New York Rangers on Thursday and Saturday at KeyBank Center.