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Recap: Poor Opening Period Cost Sabres

A poor opening period costs the Sabres in a 4-2 loss to the Panthers

NHL: Florida Panthers at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres played well for 40 minutes tonight. Unfortunately, it was the 20 minutes of poor play that cost them two points against the Florida Panthers.

Buffalo got the first goal of the game off the stick of Ryan O’Reilly on the power play. They seemed to off to a good start on home ice, but it went downhill quickly.

The Sabres began a parade to the penalty box. The Panthers tied the game at one by capitalizing on a 5 on 3 advantage on Keith Yandle’s sixth of the season. Just over three minutes later the Panthers took the lead on another power-play goal.

In the final two minutes of the period, the Panthers added their third goal. Josh Gorges went for a skate and left Denis Malgin all alone in front.

Early in the second period, the Sabres got back in the game. Zemgus Girgensons scored a shorthanded goal just 32 seconds into the middle frame. He also sent a lucky fan home $5,000 richer by scoring in the “money minute”.

The Sabres pushed hard in the second for the equalizer. Including a shift of about three minutes where they kept the Panthers hemmed in their own end.

Again in the third, the Sabres had their chances, but Henri Sateri was up to the task or they wasted the opportunity by shooting the puck over the net.

Late in the third Colton Sceviour wrapped the game up for the visitors. He caught Chad Johnson cheating on a 2 on 1 and tucked it short side under the arm. Certainly, one that Johnson would want back.

Things got chippy in the final minutes. Evander Kane who seemed more interested in getting in a fight than scoring tonight had a questionable hit on Aleksander Barkov. He received five, two and a ten for the hit and his extracurricular activities after it.

The fighting wasn’t done. After Jake McCabe leveled Vincent Trochek with a hard hit the teams met again at center ice. Johan Larsson received a match penalty during the scuffle.

When all was said and done the Sabres fell to the Panthers 4-2 for their second straight loss at home.

Final Score: Panthers 4, Sabres 2

Shots on Goal: Panthers 32 | Sabres 32

Panthers Goal Scorers: Yandle (6), Matheson (6), Malgin (8) and Sceviour (7)

Sabres Goal Scorers: O’Reilly (14) and Girgensons (5)

Three Stars of the Game

1. Keith Yandle (1 G, 2 A)

2. Jonathan Huberdeau (1 A)

3. Henri Sateri (30 saves on 32 shots)

Comment of the Game

Penalties are fun

17:59 Buffalo Evander Kane – Interference – Maj. – 5 minutes

17:59 Florida Nick Bjugstad – Roughing – 2 minutes

17:59 Buffalo Evander Kane – Roughing – 2 minutes

17:59 Buffalo Evander Kane – Misconduct – 10 minutes

19:25 Florida Alex Petrovic – Fighting – 5 minutes

19:25 Buffalo Jake McCabe – Fighting – 5 minutes

19:25 Buffalo Kyle Okposo – Fighting – 5 minutes

19:25 Florida Vincent Trocheck – Fighting – 5 minutes

19:25 Buffalo Johan Larsson – Cross Checking Major – 5 minutes

19:57 Florida Micheal Haley – Fighting – 5 minutes

19:57 Florida Micheal Haley – Misconduct – 10 minutes

”What’s that? Ah — Playoffs?” - ‘17-’18 Buffalo Sabres