After fourth straight day of losses, Buffalo fans reach breaking point - The Buffalo News

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After fourth straight day of losses, Buffalo fans reach breaking point

It was a run for the ages.

The Dark Ages.

Thankfully for Buffalo sports fans, it's over.

Buffalo backers suffered through a historically painful four-day run, culminating in the Sabres' 3-2 loss to Columbus on Monday night. The Sabres also lost Friday and Saturday, while the Buffalo Bills got blown out Sunday.

Since the Sabres were founded in 1970, it was just the fourth time the city's premier sports teams have combined to lose four days in a row, according to research by The Buffalo News.

Not only did the teams lose, it was almost unwatchable.

"They expect more out of us, and they should," Sabres forward Sam Reinhart said of the fans.

Not surprisingly, many chose to sit the last game out. The Sabres announced 16,551 tickets sold – the lowest number since Dec. 15, 2014 – and there were thousands of tickets that went unused. It's hard to blame anyone who declined to make the trek to KeyBank Center.

The Sabres' offense was non-existent Friday and Saturday during 3-1 losses to Detroit and Carolina. The Bills played possibly their worst game ever in Sunday's 54-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Seeing the Sabres extend their winless skid to six games certainly seemed liked overkill.

"They pay a lot of money to come see games," Buffalo right wing Jason Pominville said. "It's been tough, for sure. We've got to take more pride in finding ways to win at home. If you want to be a good team, you've got to win at home."

The Sabres and Bills are not winning anywhere at the moment. One day after the football team lost its third straight to fall to 5-5, the hockey team dropped to 5-12-4. The Sabres are 0-4-2 in their last six games and 2-6-1 this season in KeyBank Center.

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"It's a very rough time, not only for the fans in Buffalo but the group in that locker room, the coaching staff," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "We didn't envision this being where we are right now, and that's the tough battle.

"This is testing us mentally, for sure, but we’ve got to push forward. We can't dwell on the things that are happening to us. We've got to be mentally stronger and just fight through it."

The fans' mental toughness is being challenged, too. Here were the previous three times the Sabres and Bills tortured them on four consecutive days:

2001

Nov. 16 – Sabres lose to Florida, 2-0.
Nov. 17 – Sabres lose in Boston, 3-1.
Nov. 18 – Bills lose to Seattle, 23-20.
Nov. 19 – Sabres lose in Atlanta, 3-2.

2002

Dec. 20 – Sabres lose to Florida, 3-0.
Dec. 21 – Sabres lose in Montreal, 6-2.
Dec. 22 – Bills lose in Green Bay, 10-0.
Dec. 23 – Sabres lose in Pittsburgh, 5-2.

2013

Oct. 2 – Sabres lose in Detroit, 2-1.
Oct. 3 – Bills lose in Cleveland, 37-24.
Oct. 4 – Sabres lose to Ottawa, 1-0.
Oct. 5 – Sabres lose in Pittsburgh, 5-1.

The teams have combined to lose four games in four days on nine other occasions, but the fans had a one-day break from games during the skids. There was no stopping the deluge this time.

Fans finally get a day of rest Tuesday. The Sabres get back at it Wednesday when they host Minnesota.

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"To expect more out of ourselves I think is the biggest thing," Reinhart said. "Hopefully, we can find a way to play the way we're capable of because we do it in spurts. In this league, no matter who you're playing against it's never going to be good enough.

"We've got to find a way mentally to demand more and expect more of ourselves."

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