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Sabres end season with a loss to Tampa


TAMPA, Fla. -- The 82nd and final game of the Buffalo Sabres 2016-2017 season was lost at the end -- thanks to a bad bounce.

It kind of summed up the Sabres season as a whole. A missed opportunity here, an injured franchise player there. Things could have been different. But despite high hopes at the beginning -- like when they lead tonight's game in the first period -- things ended on a down note.

William Carrier got Buffalo on the board first at 13:56 of the first period, assisted by Alexander Nylander and Zach Bogosian.

Tampa tied it in the second on a Brayden Point goal at 5:59, assisted by Victor Hedman and Jake Dotchin. Tampa then took the lead at 12:20 on a short-handed goal by Braydon Coburn goal, assisted by Vladislov Namestnikov and Alex Killhorn.

Evander Kane tied it up for Buffalo a little more than half-way through the third period. Brian Gionta and Ryan O'Reilly assisted on the goal. Then at 18:36, the Sabres got buffaloed. Brayden Point's second goal of the night went into the Sabres net thanks to an odd deflection off of the leg of Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. That made it 3-2, Tampa. An empty netter with a second remaining made it a 4-2 final.

With the Sabres out of the playoffs, they can work on their golf games ... or conditioning ... or whatever it is they do in the offseason. They finish the season with 78 points, the 26th best -- or fifth-worst -- record in the league.

But they're unbeaten so far in the 2017-2018 season.