San Jose dropped to 11-13-3 at SAP Center after falling to Buffalo.
Well, that was a clunker.
The San Jose Sharks returned home following a successful five-game road trip to play host to the Buffalo Sabres. After jumping out to an early lead, San Jose couldn’t build any sort of rhythm or momentum, and Buffalo capitalized off a pair of unfortunate bounces to emerge with a 3-1 victory on Friday night.
For the first time since the beginning of January, the Sharks dropped consecutive games, but this one was a tough pill to swallow for team teal.
San Jose got on the board early as Marc-Edouard Vlasic fired home his eighth goal of the season just 88 seconds into the contest as the Sharks got the exact start they were looking for.
Unfortunately, Buffalo did a nice job of frustrating San Jose throughout the rest of the contest as the Sharks were unable to break through against backup netminder Chad Johnson, who could be a trade target for the Sharks.
More from Sharks News
- Norris Trophy odds show Erik Karlsson a step above the rest
- Red hot Couture provides a much needed boost
- Sharks return to SAP in sight
- Ryan Donato shines in his revenge game
- Tomas Hertl is off to a hot start
While San Jose didn’t have many scoring opportunities, they did a nice job of limiting the speedy Sabres to only 22 shots on goal in the contest. But it was a couple of unlucky bounces that went against the Sharks that Buffalo took full advantage of.
The first came with less than seven minutes in the second period when a Roman Polak pass hopped over the stick of Brenden Dillon and allowed Johan Larsson to bury his third goal of the season off a rebound of Brian Gionta’s shot.
That was the beginning of a forgettable night for Dillon who was making his second appearance after missing six games with an upper body injury. He would have a chance to make amends for the mistake early in the third period, but he would miss a wide open net with Johnson down and out.
Then, the Sabres would get the go-ahead break as Zach Bogosian’s shot from the point ricocheted off the skate of Tomas Hertl past Martin Jones to give Buffalo the 2-1 advantage at the 12:36 mark of the third. An Evander Kane empty-net tally would seal the deal as the Sabres won for the ninth time in their last 10 games against the Sharks.
With the loss to Buffalo, San Jose now finds themselves six points behind the Kings and four behind the Ducks as their SoCal rivals continue to amass two points.
This was a missed opportunity for the Sharks who must find a way to establish their identity and game on home ice.
San Jose now heads back out on the road for their first matchup of the year against the Vancouver Canucks as they look to put this performance behind them.