The puck bounced to Rasmus Ristolainen, and the Buffalo Sabres' No. 1 defenseman had time to look for the right pass.
He couldn't have made a worse one. Ristolainen gave the puck to future Hall of Famer Sidney Crosby, and Buffalo was in a 2-0 hole with just 6:38 gone Friday.
"That should not happen at this level," Ristolainen said after a 4-0 loss to Pittsburgh. "It's a game of mistakes, and we – I – made some costly plays there, and it's hard to come back against that kind of team."
There was plenty of blame to go around after Buffalo made history by getting blanked for the third straight game, but Ristolainen shouldered his share. Aside from the turnover, he quarterbacked a power play that totaled one shot on four inept chances.
"I didn't think there was one thing that worked, starting from myself," Ristolainen said in KeyBank Center. "I'm the puck-carrier. I have a big responsibility there. I need to find the right guy, and that's where it started.
"We didn't make the plays."
The fans grew increasingly impatient with the power play, which fell to 0 for 19 in the last eight games. The boos were way more plentiful than successful entries. The Sabres couldn't even set up in the zone, let alone get a shot.
They actually had more shots while short-handed (two) than they did with the man-advantage.
"Those are momentum killers and those are the ones that are unacceptable, and that's on us as a power play and me," right wing Kyle Okposo said. "We've got to score on the power play, and our power play I thought let us down."
Pittsburgh received a 34-save shutout from goaltender Tristan Jarry.
He's a 22-year-old who was making his sixth career start. It was his first NHL shutout.
"It'll be a nice memory to have," Jarry said during a monotone interview in which he barely cracked a smile. "I'm always laid-back. I think that's my personality and that's how I am and who I am. That comes in net, too. That helps me prepare and helps me stay calm during games."
He showed nerves early, failing to cleanly handle a few high shots. But by the time Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu broke in alone for a deflection with 4:06 left, Jarry's glove was ready.
It helped that he had a 1-0 lead after 3:23 and a 3-0 advantage after one period.
"That's obviously huge," Jarry said. "These are still my first couple games in the NHL, so it calms the nerves a little bit quicker than usual. It's nice when the team puts a couple up quickly."
For the first time this season, the Sabres' blue line featured the six defensemen who were expected to be starters. Zach Bogosian made his season debut after recovering from a lower-body injury.
Bogosian became the 11th defenseman to dress for Buffalo this season. He skated 20:48 and recorded four shots on seven attempts.
"He's a spark plug," said defense partner Nathan Beaulieu. "You just feel his energy when he comes in the dressing room. He's always happy. It will be good for us to have him. It will help our back end out a lot."
The Sabres' other pairs were Marco Scandella-Ristolainen and Jake McCabe-Victor Antipin.
Defenseman Matt Tennyson cleared waivers Friday and reported to the Amerks.
A late incident could carry over into Saturday's rematch. Pittsburgh's Bryan Rust was digging for the puck along the boards when Sabres left wing Evander Kane hit the winger and drove his head into the glass. Rust threw a punch, and both players went to the penalty box after jostling with 4:38 to go.
Here’s a good look at the Kane hit on Rust. What a garbage hit. pic.twitter.com/YoRH0D6a2K
— John Tarbett (@jtarbett) December 2, 2017
Rust continued to yell at Kane, who earlier had words with Pittsburgh tough guy Ryan Reaves.
Bryan Rust how do you feel about Evander Kane? pic.twitter.com/io0XSf8b0r
— John Tarbett (@jtarbett) December 2, 2017
Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill, a longtime member of Pittsburgh's management group, will make his return to the city Saturday when the Sabres visit PPG Paints Arena. The GM didn't travel to the game against Pittsburgh in mid-November.
The Penguins are expected to salute Botterill in his return.
"There was always good memories and stuff there," Botterill said. "I appreciate what people like" Penguins GM "Jim Rutherford did to put me in this situation. Obviously, the success the organization had and the things he did behind the scenes to help me get this position, I'm extremely appreciative to the organization."