Sharks Takeaways: What We Learned in 4-3 Overtime Loss Vs. Sabres


Well, you can't say the Sharks didn't make things interesting Tuesday night.

San Jose forced overtime at KeyBank Center but fell 4-3 to the red-hot Buffalo Sabres in the extra frame. The Sharks jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period, but they trailed by a goal until defenseman Erik Karlsson tied the game with just under nine minutes left. 

Here are three takeaways from the Sharks' second straight loss. 

Why this loss is hard to swallow

The Sharks showed a lot of resiliency at the start of the game, rebounding from two defensive breakdowns in the first minute to leading 2-0 at the first intermission. Then, when they trailed for the first time in the third, they picked up the pace, grinding the Sabres down before Karlsson scored the equalizer.

But the Sharks slowly lost control of the game in the second period after the Sabres cut the lead in half on Jack Eichel's power-play goal. After rebounding so well in the first frame, coughing up a two-goal lead is a disappointment.

Jones vs. Eichel

Sharks goaltender Martin Jones stood on his head at times Tuesday, often stymying Buffalo's four-line attack. But Jones' most impressive saves came against the Sabres' young captain, who played on another level after a mid-game collision with Timo Meier. Eichel tallied six of Buffalo's 29 shots, and he could've scored more than two goals were it not for Jones. 

Jones allowed four goals on 29 shots, but that's not an accurate snapshot of how he played Tuesday, considering all the big saves he made. What the starter needs, now, is for the team in front of him to score another goal or two on the other end of the ice.

On that note ...

[RELATED: Watch Meier, Marleau and Vlasic go tic-tac-toe on Sharks goal]

Closer to establishing a four-line game

In all honesty, the Sharks looked better at even strength in Tuesday's game than they have all season. Their top two lines were clicking and even the fourth line got on the board, thanks to Dylan Gambrell's first regular-season NHL goal.

But it wasn't just the goal-scoring. the Sabres didn't hem the Sharks in their own end, and San Jose instead did a much better job pushing play forward and protecting the puck. If the Sharks can play like that on a more regular basis, they'll be a much harder team to play against -- even against some of the tough competition they have coming up on their schedule.

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