VANCOUVER -- This result won't sit well with the Buffalo Sabres. They controlled play for long stretches Friday night and seemingly dominated the first period in Rogers Arena.
Linus Ullmark made key saves and every forward created scoring chances, including Kyle Okposo, who scored for the second time in five games. Yet, the Sabres will enter the long bye week wondering how to fix the defensive miscues that have plagued them all season.
After getting the first goal of the game and twice tying the score, Buffalo made too many mistakes in a 4-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. The Sabres enter the extended All-Star break with a 24-17-6 record and four points back of Pittsburgh for the second wild-card playoff spot.
They have won only seven of their last 23 games and have not won back-to-back games since Dec. 11-13. Evan Rodrigues and Sam Reinhart also scored, while Ullmark made 19 saves.
Vancouver, which was without rookie center Elias Pettersson, received goals from Alexander Edler, Sven Baertschi, Brock Boeser and Louis Eriksson, who scored with 14:03 remaining to make it 4-3.
Rookie goalie Thatcher Demko made 35 saves for Vancouver, which improved to 22-21-6.
Another one: Rodrigues scored his third goal in as many games when he deflected a pass from Rasmus Ristolainen past Demko for a 1-0 lead at 8:48 into the first period. It was Rodrigues' fifth goal of the season and this is his first career three-game goal streak.
9:24: The Canucks did not have a shot on goal for the first 9:24 of the first period.
Quick answer: The Sabres only led for 3:24 in the first period. Following Rodrigues' goal, the Canucks cycled the puck in the offensive zone until Edler's shot snuck past Ullmark, who was screened on the play.
Dahlin-esque: Buffalo made Pouliot look like Rasmus Dahlin. Pouliot entered the offensive zone, skated around Lawrence Pilut and Vladimir Sobotka, and backhanded a pass to Baertschi, who one-timed a shot into the net for a 2-1 lead at 15:31 into the first period.
Fourth-line goal: Following a failed power play, Okposo tied the score, 2-2, when he collected a pass in the slot, fended off a defender and backhanded a shot over Demko's blocker at 2:26 into the second.
Rookie mistake: After collecting the puck in the right-wing corner, Pilut made a backhanded pass that was intercepted by Bo Horvat, whose pass was one-timed by Boeser for a 3-2 lead. Pilut was on the ice for each of the first five goals scored in the game.
Hometown hero: Reinhart, a Vancouver native, tied the score 3-3 when he collected a pass from Conor Sheary in the slot and made a backhanded shot over Demko's blocker at 12:32 into the second period. It was Reinhart's 11th goal of the season, and Sheary has three assists over the past four games.
Record missed: Dahlin's point streak was snapped at five games, which prevented him from becoming the first 18-year-old defenseman in NHL history to record a point in six straight games.
Power-play woes: The Sabres' power play is 1-for-22 over its last eight games after it failed to score during its two opportunities against the Canucks.
300: This was Johan Larsson's 300th career NHL game, and he had a primary assist on Okposo's goal.
Lineup: Pilut was again in the lineup with Nathan Beaulieu and Matt Hunwick the healthy scratches. Skinner was a game-time decision after crashing into the boards Wednesday night in Calgary.
Next: The Sabres have the next nine days off from team activities because of the bye week and All-Star break. Their next game is on the road in Columbus on Jan. 29.