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Sharpen Up: March 6, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

Well, that didn't end well. 

The start was what Buffalo was looking for: a 3-0 lead after the first period on the road over the Pittsburgh Penguins. But the Pens made a goalie change, replacing Matt Murray with Marc-Andre Fleury, and started chipping away, one goal at a time. 

Conor Sheary eventually potted the go-ahead goal for Pittsburgh with 2:56 remaining, leading them to a 4-3 victory.  

Here's what you need to know.

Video: BUF Recap: Sabres lose on late goal from Sheary

As part of that three-goal first, Jack Eichel scored. He extended his point streak to 10 games, the longest active streak in the NHL. He now has points against every NHL opponent, becoming the second player in the expansion era to do so before the end of his second season (Chicago's Artemi Panarin did it first). 

Brian Gionta's goal was on the power play, which upped the team's efficiency on the man advantage to 22.9 percent. They're tied with Toronto's power play for tops in the league. The power play went 1-for-5 on the night and Buffalo had an opportunity at the end of the game when Justin Schultz was called for delay of game with 1:51 remaining. 

It briefly turned into a 6-on-4 when Buffalo pulled Anders Nilsson (who made 41 saves) from the net, and the Sabres managed four shots on goal, but we unable to tie it up.

 

From the Game Recap:

Video: Eichel: Postgame Interview at PIT

"We gave them way too much," Eichel said. "A team like that, you can't sit back and let them just pick the puck up in their zone and skate at you. That's what we did. We just backed up on [Nilsson]. We were lucky to get as far as we did. We played a good first period, got away from what we did. That's the tale of the [game] and it seems like it's kind of a reoccurring theme right now with us."

A win in Pittsburgh would've put the Sabres within three points of the New York Islanders, who lost to Calgary on Sunday, in the wild card race. Instead, their uphill battle becomes a bit steeper now with just 16 games remaining. 

Video: BYLSMA: Postgame Interview at PIT

"We've had a few of these lately and each one's a bigger blow to where we're at in the standings and what we need to do to get some points here," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "We're going to have to come off this one and respond against Philly when they come in on Tuesday." 

 

More from the locker room

Video: Nilsson: Postgame Interview at PIT

Video: McCabe: Postgame Interview at PIT

 

On tap today

The Sabres are not scheduled to skate today following the back-to-back contests over the weekend. They will hold a team meeting, however, and we'll have locker room interviews as well as Bylsma's press conference for you today here on Sabres.com.

We'll also have Kris Baker's weekly Prospects Report online this morning. If you want a sneak peek, check out his Twitter feed for some highlights from the past week.

Buffalo hosts Philadelphia tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. at KeyBank Center. Individual tickets, Family Packs and Hat Trick Packs for the game are on sale now.

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