The Seattle Kraken posted an efficient second period in their 5-2 defeat of the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night. After tying the game early in the second, the Sabres surrendered three goals on five shots to completely deflate what was a solid effort early-on.
Jeff Skinner and Alex Tuch were the Sabres goal scorers, while former Sabre William Borgen posted two assists for the visiting Kraken.
Joey Daccord was stellar in the first period, turning away a slew of grade-A opportunities created by Buffalo’s top-six forwards. He continued to stand strong for Seattle throughout the rest of the game to ensure his team was in control.
Devon Levi started strong, and he seemed on track to repeat his impressive showing in Montreal. Then things went awry in the second period, and Levi, as well as the defense, unraveled.
Alex Wennberg was left alone in the offensive zone and flipped on through Levi. Jaden Schwartz then tipped a point shot past him from the slot. Finally, Matty Beniers walked down the left wing and ripped a wrister into the back of the net from the faceoff dot.
If Levi makes one of those saves, perhaps the Sabres aren’t as deflated. Meanwhile on the other end, Daccord kept his focus and stayed perfect throughout the entire second half of the game.
A few shifts into the game, head coach Don Granato made an interesting decision. He decided to flip Tage Thompson and Casey Mittelstadt on their corresponding lines. The move almost immediately paid off, with Mittelstadt making key assists on both the Skinner and Tuch goals.
It was a good move for the Sabres top line, but the move proved to be detrimental to Thompson. If Thompson is supposed to be Buffalo’s best offensive player, making a move that results in no shots for the top center and negative goal-differential deserves to be questioned.
Thompson and his adopted linemates Zach Benson and Jordan Greenway had such a bad game that the entire move proved to be vastly detrimental to the team despite the two Buffalo goals it resulted in.
The Skinner and Tuch combination looked in sync yet again. Tuch made a great play falling over in the corner to get the puck out to Mittelstadt, who found Skinner open on the off-wing for the first goal. Tuch’s goal was a beautiful look by Skinner from the left boards to find the crashing winger for the deflection.
Tuch in particular was one player the Sabres really needed to step up his game, and he’s definitely done that since returning from injury back in mid-December.
The Sabres will be in game two of their January homestand on Thursday against the Ottawa Senators. The Senators continue to be the cellar dwellers in the Atlantic Division. They are one of five teams behind the Sabres in point percentage in the NHL this season.