The San Jose Sharks bright start against the Buffalo Sabres would come to naught as team teal were unable to deal with the five unanswered goals Buffalo would put up to end the game. It means that it is a defeat to leave a sour taste in the mouth of Bay Area sports fans as we all turn our attention to the NFC Championship game tomorrow at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara.
San Jose would break the ice in the marinee. A zone entry would be blasted around the boards and a shot from the boards would rebound out to the point. Marc-Edouard Vlasic would walk into one and slap the puck home from the blueline as Nico Sturm took the goalies eyes away. William Eklund and Ty Emberson would get the assists as the Sharks did well to establish the early lead in this one tonight.
San Jose would double the lead early. William Eklund would keep the puck in and get it over to Jan Rutta at the point.Nico Sturm would glide through the slot to take away the eyes of Ukko-Pekka Luukonen. Rutta's shot took a deflection off a Sabres in front and it was a 2-0 Sharks lead early. A strong start continues the recent hot streak of the team.
Buffalo would cut the lead in half before the end of the first period. As Owen Power carried the puck in from the blueline, he was left alone, and eventually Jack Quinn was left alone with the puck. He was able to get it over to JJ Peterka in the slot, and he lashed the puck home to cut into the Sharks advantage. Just poor defensive play, which is forgivable in a matinee setting as teams are thrown out of routine.
Jordan Greenway would tie the game up before the intermission. A board battle was won by Casey Mittelstadt against Justin Bailey. The puck squirms out to Alex Tuch in the middle of the ice, and he was able to get the puck over to Greenway who was behind the Sharks defense, and the bright start had been wiped out by some poor defensive play from the team in teal.
In the second period, the Sharks would grab the lead back. Jan Rutta couldn't clear a puck and Nico Sturm turns it over in the middle of the ice. The puck bounces out in front to Alex Tuch and the screen from Greenway took the eyes of Kahkonen away so he never saw it. Early in the second period, the Sharks were behind and they were struggling to capitalize on the chances that they were creating.
Buffalo would extend their lead in the third. A two-on-one with Dylan Cozens carrying the puck into the zone accompanied by Peterka. He would feed it over to the German forward, and the Sharks would go two goals down as Peterka grabbed his second of the day and continued to haunt the San Jose Sharks. It was becoming a long day after the Sharks started so brightly in this one.
Buffalo would hit the empty net through Cozens to make it five goals for the Sabres, and it was game over. San Jose was going to go on to lose this game. It would be the first loss in four, but it continued the vile record the Sharks have against Buffalo. They will get a chance to make amends against the Seattle Kraken before the all-star break, but this game was not what the Sharks had come to expect.