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Third Period Turbulence – Sabres crash against Jets

Mar 3, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Jordan Greenway (12) tries to block a pass by Winnipeg Jets left wing Alex Iafallo (9) during the third period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo Sabres vs Winnipeg Jets
TeamP1P2P3Total
Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo Sabres
1102
Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg Jets
1045
Current Status: Final

Score: Jets 5 | Sabres 2

Shots: WPG 35 | BUF 19

Buffalo Sabres Goals:

  1. Peterka (Okposo, Skinner) (PP)
  2. Robinson (Krebs, Girgensons)

Winnipeg Jets Goals:

  1. Niederreiter (Morrissey, Pionk)
  2. Morrissey (Scheifele, Namestnikov)
  3. Barron (Perfetti)
  4. Namestnikov (Connor) (EN)
  5. Monahan (Lowry, Appleton) (EN)

Minus 1: Running on Empty

The Sabres came into this matchup playing the back half of a back-to-back, their 3rd game in 4 nights, and their 4th in 6 nights. That’s a tall order for any team, much less one that has little room for error. The Jets also played the night before but looked rested against the fatigued Sabres and are now 6-0-0 in the second night of back-to-backs. Buffalo struggled to generate offense all night and failed to record 20 shots on goal. Even with being outplayed, the Sabres held a third period lead until Josh Morrissey tied it halfway through the frame. A few minutes later. Morgan Barron gave Winnipeg a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. A couple empty netters were added to cement the disastrous third period. The Sabres simply did not have enough gas in the tank to close out this game.

Plus 1: 2nd Rounder Milestone

If Sabre fans are looking for some positives to take away from the season, look no further than JJ Peterka. His powerplay goal against the Jets was not only a beautiful passing play rarely seen on a Sabres man advantage. It was his 20th of the season. This makes him the first Sabre 2nd rounder with 20 goals since Derek Roy who was drafted 19 years before Peterka. He has been one of the few bright spots for Buffalo in a disappointing season.

Minus 2: Missed Standings Opportunity

The out-of-town scoreboard broke in Buffalo’s favor on Sunday. Three teams they are chasing in the wild card race all lost to Western Conference teams in regulation with the Penguins, Capitals, and Devils all recording defeats. The Sabres had a chance to make up a little ground against their competition but failed to take advantage. With time running out and many teams in their way, Buffalo had one slip away on a night they could have made up ground in the wild card race. The Sabres are now 19-1-1 in games they led going into the third period.

Final Thoughts

A night that started with promise turned ugly in a brutal 3rd period. Buffalo was outplayed most of the night but hung onto a lead with 10 minutes left in the game. The wheels fell off after Morrissey tied it, and the Sabres never recovered. Other than a phenomenal powerplay goal by Peterka and a rush goal by Robinson and Krebs, the offense was few and far between. Buffalo has a couple days rest before traveling to Toronto to take on the Leafs. Their thin margin for error is now even slimmer. It’s now or never for a team trying to claw their way back to playoff contention.

Talking Points