For the 9th time in their last 11 meetings, and 5th straight time in San Jose, the Buffalo Sabres were able to leave the ice with two points against the San Jose Sharks.
Things did not start off that promising for the Sabres though, as the pace of this game out of the gate was very, very slow and the Sharks were able to take advantage very early.
Matt Nieto was contested as he entered the Sharks’ offensive zone, but that did not stop him. Nieto regained his stride and entered the zone. As this happened, the Sharks began to trail into the zone.
Nieto turned over his left shoulder and fed the puck to Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who deposited a strong shot past Chad Johnson. Vlasic’s
In the early moments before Vlasic’s goal, it seemed as if both teams were hellbent on taking their shifts and just leisurely skating around the ice, while getting a scoring opportunity every so often. This trend continued following the first goal.
In the first period, there were 13 shots combined. A very ugly twenty minutes of hockey but nonetheless, San Jose held a 1-0 advantage heading into the second.
Fortunately for all the Western New Yorkers who stayed up late to watch this game, the boring and lifeless hockey bled over into the second period.
Good news was not far away for the Buffalo Sabres in the second period though. The offensive offense finally woke up from its slumber, if only for a few seconds.
A Brian Gionta shot seemed to catch Martin Jones in a weird spot, and immediately poked through his gear. Johan Larsson found himself in the right place at the right time to poke home the trickling puck.
Just check out the bowling ball move below by Larsson to ensure the goal.
"don't @ me" pic.twitter.com/suTqQtIC8G
— sba (@essbeeay) February 27, 2016
Fantastic effort by Larsson, which led to his 3rd goal of the season. This game found itself tied up at 1 at 13:38 of the second period. Larsson has been playing a lot better lately, showing signs of the game that this Sabres coaching staff wants him to play.
Both teams would remain tied through two periods, with chances calming down again as the narrative of slow hockey throughout remained strong.
The third period brought more uninspiring play, but the Buffalo Sabres were able to take advantage of their limited opportunities.
Zach Bogosian, who played a very strong game, continued a recent trend of putting shots on net from the blueline. In what originally looked like a tip from Sam Reinhart, the puck was redirected past Martin Jones and into the net.
Upon further review, the shot went off the boot of Tomas Hertl. This was the redirection we all saw on television, more evidence below.
— Mike Straw (@MikeStrawWrites) February 27, 2016
Bogosian’s 4th goal of the season, at 12:36 of the third, pushed the Sabres to a 2-1 lead. This game would go in the books at the game-winning goal.
A cherry-on-top of the Sabres’ victory would come in the form of an Evander Kane empty-net goal at 18:43 of the third. Kane’s 17th goal of the season inflated the lead to 3-1, which is where we would see this one go final.
This victory against the Sharks pushes the Sabres’ record to 25-30-7 on the season, with 57 points.
Oddly enough, this is only the 3rd game all season throughout the National Hockey League that did not feature a penalty on either team. The flow of the game certainly would not have been hurt by a penalty or two.
Either way, here are the quick hits:
- Sabres fans have no chill.
— Mike Straw (@MikeStrawWrites) February 27, 2016
I love this GIF so much. It is not very often that Sabres fans can be assholes, and those Sharks fans look pretty butthurt. Get lit.
- Best Week Ever.
Our boy DJ Bogo has had one hell of a week, man.
Zach Bogosian has tallied 3 goals and 2 assists in 3 games this week, which has increased his season point total by almost half. Bogosian will look to finish the week off strong against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
It seems that Bogosian is seeing an increase in his statistics simply because he is releasing more from the blueline, something we haven’t really seen happen a lot this season.
Bogosian can continue to release the long-range clapper and we’ll keep celebrating DJ Bogo.
- Chad Johnson, likely not a Sabre anymore.
Before the game, rumors were flying. That is the territory that comes with being a middling franchise at the NHL Trade Deadline. Many of the rumors surrounded backup goaltender Chad Johnson, who just so happened to draw the start tonight against San Jose.
I put it like that because San Jose is rumored to be very interested in the services of Chad Johnson.
As the game progressed, hockey pundits pointed out that San Jose was one of the logical spots for Johnson. Will he make the trip home? Unsure at this point, but we missed the perfect chance for an nWo swerve on the ice.
— Ryan Wolfe (@wolfebltd) February 27, 2016
A well-deserved win after saving 24 of 25 shots against what might be your future employer is not a bad way to spend your Friday night.