Sabres Fall Behind Early, Losing Streak Now at Three After 3-0 Loss to New York Islanders
Jack Eichel and Matthew Barzal react to a third-period faceoff during Tuesday's game (Photo By Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)
BUFFALO, N.Y. --- After not recording a shot in the third period in Monday's loss, the Buffalo Sabres looked to get back on track on Tuesday against the Islanders. However, a two-goal hole in the first period was one Buffalo could not climb out of, as they lost 3-0.
The Islanders came out firing on all cylinders in the first period as Adam Pelech netted his sixth of the year about five minutes in for a 1-0 lead. Buffalo had their opportunity just three minutes later, as Pelech was called for holding. But the Sabres had only one shot on goal in the man-advantage.
Then about two minutes later, the Islanders struck again as Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored his sixth of the season on a wrist shot off the passes from Ryan Pulock and Nick Leddy, putting the Sabres in a 2-0 hole for the second-straight night.
Buffalo had a better showing compared to Monday's third period, forcing nine shots in the first. But Ilya Sorokin was a brick wall in-between the pipers for New York.
The second period was slow for both teams, as only eight total shots were fired.
But in the third period, the Sabres pushed the envelope early by attacking the net to pressure the 25-year-old rookie Sorokin. The rookie stayed composed, making three miraculous saves in a row to thwart the Sabres from all angles.
The Sabres had an opportunity midway through the third, as it looked like Victor Olofsson extended his power-play point streak to seven straight games with a wrister past Sorokin.
But after the Islanders challenged, the goal was disallowed as Jack Eichel was called for offsides.
Overall, Buffalo had eight shots in the period. But it was an empty netter by Pelech with one second left that put the nail in the coffin for the Sabres.
Postgame, Taylor Hall said that the first-period woes cannot be pointed at just one player.
"It's not our goalie's fault, it's just kind of the way things have gone. In a season when teams are keeping it simple, that's the mantra, as teams who get leads are going to keep them, Hall said.
There were some positives to come out of the game, as Casey Mittelstadt remains the only Sabre on the NHL's COVID Protocol list. It is unknown whether the 22-year-old will be available for Thursday's game against the Washington Capitals at 7:00 p.m.