Sabres Lose Heartbreaker in Overtime 4-3

A late collapse by the Buffalo Sabres opened the door as Capitals Tom Wilson, with a little over a minute left, tied the score late in the third. 

Unfortunately for the Sabres, they were bitten by a late goal, another buzzer-beater. Dylan Strome put the final stake into the hearts of all things Buffalo Sabres with only eight seconds left in overtime. The win was Whashington’s fifth straight in the win column.

The Sabres’ JJ Peterka opened the scoring with his 8th of the season from Tyson Jost and Victor Olofsson with a few clicks past the ten-minute mark of the first period.

The Sabres went up by a 2-0 score at 16:04 when rookie Zach Benson scored his first National Hockey League goal. Victor Olofsson picked up the assist, his second on the night.

At 07:50 into the second period, the Capitals tied the game at 2-2 when Alexander Alexeyev earned his first of the season from Nic Dowd and Trevor van Riemsdyk.

Buffalo took back their one-goal lead at 16:18 left in the second when Dylan Cozens scored his fourth from Rasmus Dahlin and Casey Mittelstadt while on the powerplay.

Then it was Tom Wilson with his 4th from Dylan Strome and John Carlson at the 18:45 mark of the third. It was Strome winning the game in overtime 4-3. 

Dahlin Sparks Sabres to Victory in Chicago

The Sabres ended their three-game winless streak with a 3-2 victory over the rebuilding Chicago Blackhawks. Star defenseman Rasmus Dahlin led the way with a goal and two assists. 

Sabres winger JJ Peterka finished the night with a pair of assists. With his five goals and seven assists over his last 11 games, he has been the most productive Sabre in November. In the 18 games thus far this season, he has compiled seven goals and seven assists.

Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 24 Blackhawk shots, improving his record to 4-3-1, with a 2.80 GAA and .911 save percentage. 

Rasmus Dahlin opened the scoring at 04:53 of the first period with his fourth goal of the season, assisted by rookie Zach Benson and JJ Peterka. Chicago forward Taylor Raddysh tied the game with his third of the season at 03:28 of the second period. 

Jeff Skinner put the Sabres back in front 2-1 at the 10:55 mark of the period while on the power play, Rasmus Dahlin and JJ Peterka picked up the helpers.

Before the end of the second period, Philipp Kurashev‘s goal tied the game for the Blackhawks. Shots on goal thus far favored Chicago 20-14 heading into the third period.

Not known for scoring, Sabres defenseman Erik Johnson scored his second of the season, the eventual game-winner. Casey Mittelstadt and Rasmus Dahlin collected the assists. 

The Sabres are off until Wednesday when they play the Washington Capitals. The puck drops at 7 p.m.

Sabres Fall to Winnipeg to Open Road Trip

The Buffalo Sabres lost their second straight game Friday night at the Canada Life Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the first of three road games by a 3-2 score. 

After their dismal home showing against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night, one might have assumed this road trip was just what this young team needed. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as one would’ve hoped. 

The two teams were scoreless during the first period. However, the second period proved to be the dagger for the young Sabres team.  

The Sabres had reinstated goaltender Eric Comrie from Injured Reserve and put him in against his former team. Things didn’t go as well as he had hoped, allowing three goals in the second period. 

By the five-minute mark of the middle frame, the Jets had already taken a 2-0 lead. Jets winger Cole Perfetti got things started, scoring in his fifth straight game. Over two minutes later, Mason Appleton doubled the lead with his fifth of the season.

Finally, the Sabres scored as Alex Tuch scored his fifth of the season, cutting the lead in half at 2-1. Jet forward Nikolaj Ehlers scored at 08:12, restoring his team’s two-goal lead. 

Buffalo’s JJ Peterka closed the gap to 3-2 at the 01:00 mark of the third, with assists from Rasmus Dahlin and Zach Benson. However, that’s all the Sabres could muster, as their season record dropped to 7-9-1.

The Sabres’ next game will be played Sunday at 8:00 pm ET against the Chicago Blackhawks inside the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.

Bruins Spoil Celebration of Kyle Okposo’s 1,000 Game 5-2

It was labeled the season’s biggest test thus far and couldn’t have begun any worse. The Sabres weren’t even five minutes into the opening period, and they were already two goals behind. 

The period came to a close, down 0-3 and hearing boos as they skated to the friendly confines of their locker room to gather themselves somehow. Every player, coach, and fan knew this team must find a way to repair the damage done and get back into this game. There’s still 40 minutes to play, I’m sure they all told themselves.

The second frame was similar to the first. The Boston Bruins tacked on two more with goals from Oskar Steen and Hampus Lindholm, bringing the score to a whopping 5-0. What could the Buffalo Sabres tell themselves now that they didn’t already after the first intermission?

Adding insult to injury, Sabres star center Tage Thompson left the ice with an apparent leg injury, missing the final 15 minutes of the first period. However, he returned for the second period, which was short-lived. He left the ice for good after blocking a Charlie McAvoy shot. After the game, Head Coach Don Granato deemed his recovery to be long-term. 

Sabres forward Victor Olofsson managed to cut into the Bruins lead; however, the damage had already been done. It was a little too late for the Sabres on a night where they honored Captain Kyle Okposo as he laced them up for the 1,000th game of his NHL career.

Bruins power forward David Pastrnak finished with 1 goal and two assists, while teammates Pavel Zacha and Charlie McAvoy added a pair of assists. Former Sabres netminder and Vezina winner Linus Ullmark last season made 30 saves on the night.

Sabres winger Victor Olofsson scored two goals, and Owen PowerDylan CozensJJ Peterka, and Casey Mittelstadt scored a point. Late in the second period, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen replaced Sabres goalie Devon Levi.

Maybe a blessing in disguise is the Sabres heading out on a three-game road trip beginning Friday night in Winnipeg. Gametime will be at 8 pm Eastern.

Sabres Blanked by Penguins in Pittsburgh 4-0

As much as I hate to point it out, the Sabres continued what may be their most glaring fault over the first fifteen games of the 2023-24 season—the inability to earn back-to-back wins more than once.

However, that is only one way to look at their record. Since the start of November, they’ve earned a record of 3-2-1. As inconsistent as it’s been, getting as many points now while growing as a team is a solid plan as any.

Pittsburgh’s most significant signing this past offseason was All-Star defenseman Erik Karlsson. He led all scorers with two goals in the third period. Evgeni Malkin finished with a goal and an assist, but goaltender Tristan Jarry was the game’s first star. He stopped all 35 shots he faced to earn his third shutout of the season and 16th of his career.

With the win, the Pens continued the winning streak to four games.

The Sabres will attempt to succeed on home ice on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against the Boston Bruins.

Skinner and Peterka Lift the Sabres to Victory at Home

It was Hockey Fights Cancer Night inside KeyBank Center tonight, and everyone showed their love for those fighting cancer with a will and strength most others can’t imagine. As many of you do, I look forward to this night every year.

After 18 minutes into the opening period, Sabres defenseman Henri Jokiharju broke the ice with his second goal. This shot rocketed past several players, including Wild netminder Filip GustavssonOwen Power received the lone assist. Then, with only 0:30 seconds left in the period, Wild star forward Kirill Kaprizov tied the game. 

Buffalo took a 2-1 lead with less than a minute left in the second period. Jeff Skinner scored his seventh goal when he made a fantastic deke on the Minnesota goalie. JJ Peterka received the lone assist.

Peterka scored his sixth goal of the season at 03:33 of the third period, increasing the Sabres’ lead to 3-1. Tage Thompson and Jeff Skinner assisted.

Minnesota cut into the Sabres’ lead with less than eight minutes left to play in the final frame, with Joel Eriksson Ek scoring his 8th, but that’s as close as the Wild would get on this night.

The Sabres sent the near-capacity crowd home happy with a 3-2 win, their fourth in the last six games. With a record of 7-6-1, the Sabres are in sixth place in the Atlantic Division. Believe it or not, they are only one point behind three teams tied for third place. 

The final shots on goal favored Minnesota 35-25. Devon Levi collected his 3rd win of the season, making 33 saves. 

Buffalo will travel to Pittsburgh, Pa., on Saturday at 7:30 pm to meet the Penguins and look to continue its recent success.

Sabres Lose Overtime Heartbreaker to Carolina

Despite playing well against a formidable opponent like the Hurricanes, the Sabres could only muster a single point as they ran out of gas in overtime, losing 3-2.

The game was close throughout, with the Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin scoring a Dahlin-type goal to tie the game. He passed the puck to himself as he entered the Hurricanes’ zone, went in, and fired the puck past goalie Antti Raanta, tying the game at two goals apiece.

Tony DeAngelo scored the lone goal of the opening period while the Hurricanes were on the power play. Alex Tuch tied it up unassisted at 03:51 of the second period. 

The Canes took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Brady Skjei at 07:54 of the third; however, Sabres star defenseman Rasmus Dahlin tied the game just over two minutes later, assisted by Tage Thompson and Casey Mittelstadt

Regulation time ended at 2-2, and off to overtime, they went. Unfortunately, the Sabres got caught with exhausted defenders, and Carolina took full advantage 01:30 into the extra session when Martin Necas scored his 5th of the season.

The Carolina Hurricanes won with the final shots tonight, 27-21. The Sabres’ next game will be on Friday at 7 p.m. at KeyBank Center versus the Minnesota Wild.

Matthews Hat Trick Not Enough as Sabres Outlast Toronto 6-4

On most nights in the National Hockey League, a Hatty by any player, let alone one of the league’s top players, meant a considerable chance of victory. Superstar Auston Matthews scored his third hat trick tonight. Giving him 11 on the season after 13 games wasn’t enough tonight.

The Maple Leafs opened the scoring when Mitchell Marner scored his 4th of the season just past 12 minutes in the first period. The Sabres would tie the game more than four minutes later off the stick of JJ Peterka on the powerplay. Owen Power and Victor Olofsson assisted him.

Tage Thompson gave Buffalo their first lead early in the second frame. The goal came unassisted while the Sabres were on the penalty kill. 

Matthews would tie the score with his 9th of the season while on the powerplay. Not just 0:34 seconds later, Sabres forward Jeff Skinner notched his 6th of the season, helping his team claim the lead for a second time at 3-2. The lone assist went to the rookie blueliner Ryan Johnson. It was the first point of his career.

Toronto’s Auston Matthews scored his second and 10th of the season just 0:17 seconds into the third to tie the game at three apiece. 

The revolving door didn’t stop there as Jordan Greenway fired home his second of the season, thus giving his team their third lead. The helpers went to Casey Mittelstadt and JJ Peterka. The goal gave the Sabres a 4-3 lead.

Matthews would score his 11th of the season and 3rd goal of the game to earn the hat trick. With the game tied at 4-4, Alex Tuch put away the go-ahead goal and empty netter to win 6-4.

Final shots on goal favored the Sabres 41-28. it was rookie netminder Devon Levi with 37 saves, earning his second win of the season.

Sabres and Flyers Split Series

The Buffalo Sabres had been waiting several seasons for any goalie in their organization to take that next step. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stole the show in this one, stopping 38 of 40 shots in the first of a home-and-home series that began Philadephia. 

 The game also featured rookie Brandon Biro scoring the first and second of his NHL career. The latter was an empty netter that sealed the win. 

Tage Thompson earned 1 goal and two assists, while Alex Tuch added two assists. Owen Power, the Sabres’ second-year blueliner, broke the tie in the third for his first of the season. Thompson and Biro nailed the coffin shut, giving the Buffalo Sabres the 5-2 victory in a game the Sabres had been outplayed, including being outshot 20-15 over the final period.

Adding insult to injury, the Flyers also lost starting netminder Carter Hart to injury.

In the back half of the series, it was Philadelphia’s night to shine. They quickly skated past the Sabres, netting three unanswered in the third frame on their way to a 5-1 win, ending their three-game losing streak.

Buffalo got on the scoreboard at 02:24 of the third off the stick of defenseman Henri JokiharjuCasey Mittelstadt and JJ Peterka earned the helpers. 

The two teams will decide on the rubber match on April 5.

Buffalo’s next outing will get underway on Saturday at 7 p.m. against the Toronto Maple Leafs.