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Too little too late: Sabres’ Sloppy First Period Costs Them the Game

Sharks bite early and never trail in 3-2 victory

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Score: Sabres 2 | Sharks 3

Shots: BUF 39 | SJ 21

Buffalo Sabres Goals: Jeff Skinner (11), Zemgus Girgensons (7-PP)

San Jose Sharks Goals: Matt Nieto (3), Timo Meier (14), Tomas Hertl (17)

Plus 1: Party in the USA

Jeff Skinner saved us all from shutout misery with his second period goal that ripped right off the pipe. Before scoring (unassisted), he kept the play going with a great effort to keep the puck in the Sharks’ zone with some help from linemate Victor Olofsson.

Minus 1: Do We Ever Score First?

Opening up scoring was - you guessed it - done by the visiting team just over halfway through the first period. Tage Thompson had a turnover deep in the Sabres’ zone and the puck was quickly buried on the short side of Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to give the Sharks a 1-0 edge. The salt in the wound continued for the home team as the scoreboard read a cringey 3-0 by the first intermission. The second goal found the back of the net after hitting a post and the third goal followed later in the period after a three-on-two with a neat wrister on the blocker side of UPL.

Overall, it was an incredibly sloppy period that left the Sabres looking rough with turnovers and disconnected passing. They lacked so much effort in that period that it ended up costing them the game.

Comment of the Game

“RJ puts so much extra joy and excitement into hockey games. I hope he does a few guest spots next season!” #ThankYouRJ -@ScottyMCSS

Final Thoughts

After an ugly first period, the Sabres made a better effort to shoot the puck in the second half of the game, but the final score did not end in their favor despite a late push in the third period with Girgensons’ goal and added pressure on San Jose. Besides the two goals, a few more highlights from tonight included RJ on the call (obviously) and a brief fight between John Hayden and Jonah Gadjovich. Other than that, it was too little too late with Buffalo’s inability to perform well for the full 60 minutes after five days off.

The Sabres are back on home ice when they face Tampa Bay on Tuesday, January 11th. The puck will drop at 7 PM and Buffalo will look to snap their five-game losing streak.