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.


Sabres Blank Colorado 4-0

This Buffalo Sabres team knew the Colorado Avalanche would be a massive test before them. They stood up to it and came out the other end smelling like a rose. They earned themselves a 4-0 win in arguably the best outing this team has put forth thus far after nine games in.

Sabres starting goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen earned his first shutout in the National Hockey League, stopping all 23 shots the Av’s sent. 

JJ Peterka smashed the bagel for the second time in as many games with his fourth of the campaign. Jeff Skinner picked up the lone assist to move him into a tie-in point with defenseman Rasmus Dahlin. The Sabres took the 1-0 lead into the locker room. Shots on goal favored Buffalo 11-6.

The Sabres added to their lead when, at 01:39 into the second frame, Casey Mittelstadt roofed his second of the season, with Jeff Skinner with his second point of the game and Henri Jokiharju added the helpers.

Tyson Jost scored his first at 08:18 of the period while on the powerplay from Alex Tuch and Owen Power, giving Buffalo a 3-0 lead heading into the break. Buffalo held the advantage in shots after the first two periods, 20-17.


Sabres Fall Short to New Jersey 5-4

The inconsistency continued for the Buffalo Sabres in this early season with their third loss in four games. This time, it was the Calgary Flames in this see-saw affair.

Seven players scored at least one goal, with only Sabres Dylan Cozens and Rasmus Dahlin finishing with a multi-point night, respectively.

The Flames’ Jonathan Huberdeau opened the scoring at the 0.49 mark with assists from Elias Lindholm and Rasmus Anderson.

The Sabres tied it up less than six minutes later as Erik Johnson fired the wrister past Flames goalie Dan Vladar. Rasmus Dahlin and Kyle Okposo picked up the helpers.

The Flames grabbed the lead once more on a goal by Walker Duehr at the 10:15 mark of the first. Then, just over 4 minutes later, the Sabres’ Tage Thompson scored his first of the season with assists from Dylan Cozens and Rasmus Dahlin to close out a busy first frame. Shots in that period favored Calgary 12-7.

After a quiet second frame, the Calgary Flames reclaimed their third lead when Coleman fired a snapshot past Sabres rookie goalie Devin Levi to make it 3-2 at the 1:52 mark of the third.

Sabres’ JJ Peterka scored his second of the season with help from Dylan Cozens and Henri Jokiharju to keep the roller coaster going.

The Flames tied the game with Adam Ruzicka, scoring what ultimately was the winner of this crazy contest. Final shots on goal favored Calgary 36-27.

The Sabres look to rebound on Saturday night on home ice against the New York Islanders.


Skinner and Thompson Each With a Pair to Seal 6-4 Sabres Win

The Ottawa Senators scored three straight late in the third that almost cost the Sabres. Luckily, with his third point of the game, Tage Thompson slid the puck into the vacated net to seal a 6-4 win for Buffalo inside Canadien Tire Centre. 

The Sabres entered into the final period with what should’ve been a comfortable 5-1 lead. Yet, in the blink of an eye, Ottawa scored three straight, bringing them with a goal.

Jeff Skinner opened the scoring in the first with his 4th of the season from Alex Tuch and Casey Mittelstadt at the 8:06 mark.

Then, with 11:20 left in the first, Zemgus Girgensons tipped the puck past Anton Forsberg for a 2-0 Buffalo lead heading into the first intermission. Shots after twenty minutes favored the Senators 10-8.

Then, just over four minutes into the 2nd, Skinner wristed his second of the game and 5th of the season. Dylan Cozens and Casey Mittelstadt collected the helpers.

At the 13:14 mark of the period, Ottawa’s Jacob Chychrun scored, cutting into the Sabres’ 3-0 lead. Travis Harmonic and Vladimir Tarasenko added the assists.

Adding to the Sabres’ offensive outburst, Alex Tuch tipped a goal that upped the score to 4-1 Buffalo. Rasmus Dahlin and Tage Thompson provided the helpers.

Then, just 1:40 after Tuch’s goal and 1:12 left in the second frame, Tage Thompson would score his 2nd of the campaign from Owen Power and Henri Jokiharju. Shots on goal after 40 favored the Senators 19-18.

The Senators returned three straight from Vladimir TarasenkoJosh Norris, and Mathieu Joseph, putting them within a goal of tying the score at five apiece.

Thompson scored his second goal and third point of the game into the empty net to secure the win for Buffalo.

Ukko-Pekka Lukkonnen earned his first win this season with 37 saves. Ottawa outshot the Sabres 19-6 in the final period.

The team will now travel to New Jersey for a Friday night matchup against the Devils. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. 


Goalie Jake Allen Shines in 3-1 Canadiens Win

Buffalo forward Jeff Skinner scored his second in as many games. Too bad this time, it was a loss. The Sabres played with plenty of diligence and focus, that is, until the 3rd period. 

Despite being tied up heading into the final frame, both teams had plenty of time to do whatever was possible to earn the win. The Canadiens did, and Buffalo did not. The Sabres let up the intensity that made them competitive through the first forty minutes, costing them.

Montreal forward Justin Barron scored just under three minutes in before Jeff Skinner brought the game back to level while on the powerplay with his 3rd of the season from Dylan Cozens, who extended his point streak to four games (2g, 3a). In contrast, Rasmus Dahlin extended his point streak to 5 games (6a).

The Habs took a 2-1 lead when Brendan Gallagher scored his 2nd of the season. Then, at the 16:53 mark, Tanner Pearson sunk the final dagger into the hearts of every fan watching. 

This game, at one point, could’ve gone either way. However, I’d be remiss if I did not mention the brilliance Jake Allen showed tonight, stopping 36 of 37 shots for Montreal. He was one of, if not the main, reasons the Sabres had trouble finding the back of the net.

The good news is they’re back at it Tuesday night in Ottawa to face the Senators. Puck drop is at 6:45 p.m.

Sabres Earn Second Win 3-1

It was a team win for Buffalo over the New York Islanders. Sabres forward Jeff Skinner tallied a goal and an assist, while Casey Mittelstadt finished with a pair of assists. Every point in the standings is crucial if they want to climb out of the cellar of the Atlantic Division.

Skinner scored his 2nd goal of the season at the 16:37 mark of the opening period. Casey Mittelstadt earned the lone assist.

With just under three minutes left in the first, Mattias Samuelsson scored his first of the season from Mittelstadt and Skinner. With no scoring in the second period, the score remained at 2-0. Shots on goal over that time favored Buffalo 31-16.

The Sabres added another to their lead when Dylan Cozens scored the second of the season at the 2:40 mark of the third. Rasmus Dahlin and Jordan Greenway assisted him.

The Islanders finally got on the board with less than two minutes to play in regulation. However, it was a little too late, as the Sabres left the ice with a 3-1 victory.

As Devon Levi had started the first four games, Sabers netminder Eric Comrie manned the cage. Comrie played well in his season debut, with 24 saves on 25 shots.

Sabres are back at KeyBank Center on Monday at 7:00 p.m. against the Montreal Canadiens.