Fast start not enough for Sabres in 5-2 loss to Islanders


New York Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck (15) celebrates his goal against Buffalo Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton in the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 6, 2021, in Uniondale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Jacob Bryson scored his first NHL goal less than a minute into Saturday afternoon’s matchup against the New York Islanders. Buffalo’s defense and goaltender Carter Hutton held their opponents off the board the rest of the opening 20 minutes to take a 1-0 lead into intermission. This team looked like a group hungry to get its first win in five games.

Then the second period happened.

New York turned it up a notch in the second, scoring two goals in a span of 1:25 to take a 2-1 lead.

Give credit to the Isles’ Matthew Barzal on the first one. He made a beautiful between-the-legs shot that very few goaltenders could prepare for, let alone stop. That tied the game at one.

Then the floodgates opened. Buffalo looked like someone popped their tires, and the Ferrari-fast start became a Pinto-poor finish.

“We wanted to come in and play a full 60 [minutes] and one period won’t do it,” defenseman Brandon Montour said.

Brock Nelson scored less than a minute-and-a-half after Barzal to make it 2-1. Roughly three minutes later, Cal Clutterbuck put one in the back of the net, bringing the score to 3-1. Then in the final five minutes, Scott Mayfield made it 4-1.

Both teams traded goals early in the third, as Sam Reinhart’s early score was answered moments later, and the Sabres fell to the Islanders 5-2.

This is the sixth loss in a row and their 11th loss in their last 13 games. Buffalo moves to 6-12-3 on the year and they face the Islanders again Sunday at noon.

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