It was sloppy, it was ugly, it was chippy, and it certainly wasn't pretty, but by the time the final horn sounded, the Buffalo Sabres had defeated the Carolina Hurricanes thanks to a pair of late third period goals by a final score of 3-2.
The first period began with a first for the season - Carlo Colaiacovo's first goal of 2015-16 came midway through the period. A bouncing goal from Pysyk and Foligno, it's still nice to see Vowels finally get on the board this season. The opening stanza was an even affair, with both team putting eight shots on goal, and Chad Johnson standing strong to give the Sabres the 1-0 lead.
The second period wasn't nearly as good for Buffalo, as they were outshot and manhandled most of the time while giving up the tying goal to Chris Terry halfway through the period. While the teams weren't scoring in bunches, they were taking penalties in bunches, with nine penalties called in the period, three of which went to to Jeff Skinner including a ten minute misconduct for his temper tantrums.
Things weren't looking good when towards the end of the third, the Hurricanes scored the go-ahead goal thanks to Joakim Nordstrom. With just five minutes left, the Sabres would need some heroics - and heroics they got.
Sam Reinhart and Ryan O'Reilly got things started with some nifty passing down low that led to Evander Kane scoring his 20th of the season and tying the game. Exactly 60 seconds later, Brian Gionta would steal the puck and feed a nifty pass to Johan Larsson in the slot, who buried the game-winner, his 7th goal of the year.
It wasn't the best game they've played recently, but tonight was a satisfying win that showed how this team won't quit, even in game 74 of a losing season. That's a great attitude to have now, and an even better one to have next year.
1. How will the Sabres respond to their disappointing effort last game?
Overall, tonight's effort was much stronger than what we saw against Toronto. Despite a lackluster second period, the Sabres went in to the third all tied up, and worked through adversity to find a way to win it in the end. Nice.
2. Will Eichel show any ill effects from his bout with food poisoning?
Jack had one of his least impactful games of the season tonight. He did have a few nice passes, but at this point that's the absolute minimum you expect from a player of his caliber. Eichel had no shots, a -2 rating, and an abysmal 14% faceoff percentage. Get a good night's sleep, kid, and make sure you're fully recovered before you come back next time.
3. Is Hudson Fasching here yet?
No, but did you see the Sabres signed another college free agent today?
Comment of the Game
This team is weird.
This might be the comment that sums up the 2015-16 season.