BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — At some point you have to suffer your first loss of the season and the Buffalo Sabres got a taste of that on Monday, falling to the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in overtime.
Marcus Johansson, Jeff Skinner, and Victor Olofsson all scored in the loss while Linus Ullmark stopped 40 shots in his first start of the season. The Sabres are back at home on Wednesday when they host Montreal at 7 p.m.
Getting a taste of their own medicine
In the first two games of the season we saw the Sabres completely dominate nearly all game long and out-shoot their opponents by double digits. On Monday, they faced a whole new test with a Columbus team that was just as aggressive with the puck and gave the team some problems early on. Through the first period the Sabres weren't able to capitalize on the power play, weren't able to kill the penalty, and were outshot for the first time this season -- all things they did really well in the team's first two games. The Sabres eventually did better on the power play and the penalty kill but the shots were extremely lopsided, the Sabres with just 18 compared to Columbus' 44.
Calm, cool, and collected
Yes Linus Ullmark gave up a few goals, some on unlucky bounces, but for the most part he was nothing but calm, cool, and collected. When the game was scoreless in the first period, Ullmark came up in a big way to rob Alexander Wennberg on breakaway attempt during the Sabres power play opportunity. His big saves continued in the second period, especially on the Blue Jackets' power play opportunity with less than ten minutes left, when Ullmark made numerous saves including a last second one that sent the puck to the other side of the ice to entirely kill the penalty. Through three games, we've seen really good play from both Ullmark and Hutton. Last year, they cooled off as the season went on. We'll see if they can stay hotter this time around.
Responding to adversity
For the first time this season, the Sabres trailed not just in a game but after a period of play. Down 2-0 in the second period, many wanted to see how this team would respond and they did so in a good way. Marcus Johansson gave the team life off a perfectly placed pass to cut the deficit in half and then later, Jeff Skinner forced a turnover and took it the other way to tie things up and make it a brand new game. When the Blue Jackets once again took the lead, the team had a response AGAIN, this time from Victor Olofsson on the 6-on-4 power play to send it to overtime. This team is going to face plenty of adversity this season and it's good to see them fight all the way until the end of a game.