Sabres drop second straight in OT loss to New Jersey

Buffalo Sabres

New Jersey Devils center Pavel Zacha (37) celebrates his overtime goal with teammates during an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, in Newark, N.J. The Devils won 2-1. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Back-to-back games resulted in back-to-back losses for the Sabres, as they fell 2-1 to New Jersey in overtime on Saturday night. After taking a 1-0 lead in the first period, the Sabres gave up a goal in the third to send it to another period, and Pavel Zacha’s goal in OT ended it.

Fatigue could have played a factor in this one, as the Sabres were fresh off a game Friday night against the Boston Bruins. Head coach Don Granato said he noticed a shift in team energy late in the contest.

“Obviously the crowd got into it and you have that dynamic and they got some adrenaline going and we fought to get it back but didn’t,” Granato said.

Even though they might have been more tired Saturday than they would if they’d had an extra day off, Will Butcher isn’t using it as an excuse for the loss.

“We knew fatigue was going to be a factor,” the Sabres defenseman said. “I thought we had pretty good legs the first two periods. Seemed to die out there in the third, [New Jersey] kind of tilted the ice on us, got a little pressure on us, but at the same time, you’re going to have back to back‘s, I think we’ve got 16 of them this year so you’ve got to bear through it. We got a point out of it, we’d like to get two and we just need to keep working.”

Dylan Cozens netted his first goal of the season in the opening stanza to put the Sabres in the lead, and for the first two periods, they were able to keep New Jersey off the board.

Then in the third, the home team was able to even things up with Nico Hischier’s rebound goal against Dustin Tokarski. The score remained tied and sent the game into overtime. Then in OT, Pavel Zacha scored the game-winner and the Sabres fell 2-1.

Buffalo moves to 3-1-1 on the season and they face the Tampa Bay Lightning at home on Monday with a 7 p.m. scheduled start time.

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