After four frustrating games that brought no wins, the Sabres finally put together a solid 60-minute effort this afternoon in a 3-0 shutout victory over the Florida Panthers.
The hero of the game was Anders Nilsson, who earned his first shutout as a member of the Buffalo Sabres with a 33-save performance. This was Nilsson’s first shutout since 2012, and just the second of his career.
He was helped by a Sabres defense that turned in one of their stronger performances of the season. Florida did outshoot Buffalo 33-25, but their truly dangerous chances were very few and far between this afternoon.
For their own part, the Sabres capitalized on the chances that presented themselves, scoring one goal in each period for the win.
Johan Larsson opened the scoring in the first period on a nice shot that found its way over the shoulder of Roberto Luongo after some pinpoint passes by his linemates, Brian Gionta and Marcus Foligno.
Kyle Okposo nothced his second of the season on a second period power play, while Rasmus Ristolianen earned his seventh assist of the season on the same play. The Sabres locked up the game in the third thanks to Sam Reinhart and a nice power play play to bank the puck off the back of Mark Pysyk from behind the net to put the Sabres up 3-0. WHERE’S YOUR CORSI NOW MARK?
Buffalo has a quick turnaround with their next game coming tomorrow at 3pm in Winnipeg.
1. Can the Sabres consistently play like the 2nd period on Thursday?
Today was one of the best, 60-minute efforts the Sabres have given all season. No let-down periods, even contributions from all lines and pairings, and a great game in net.
2. Will the Sabres special teams spark a resurgence?
The power play put two home today, while the penalty kill was a perfect 4-for-4. Doesn’t get much better than that.
3. Kulikov versus Pysyk, who has a better game?
Kulikov played the second-most minutes for Buffalo today, and while he did take a penalty, Pysyk had an own goal go in off his skates. We’ll give this one to #77.
Comment of the Game
Doesn’t that equal his goal total last year with the Sabres?