We tend to make jokes about Sabres vs. Devils games being boring affairs, and sometimes we feel bad about unwarranted accusations of trapping, clogging, and Admiral Ackbar memes. Tonight's game, however, deserves all the cliches it can take.
The Sabres and Devils combines for 37 shots all night, and took almost half the game to score the opening goal, but in the end, the Sabres pulled out a hard fought 3-1 victory.
Let's skip he first 29 minutes for the sake of everyone's sanity. The scoring started on the power play, when Ryan O'Reilly roofed a goal over Cory Schneider's shoulder to give the Sabres the lead. Jack Eichel earned his 30th assist on O'Reilly's goal, and Ristolainen also assisted, giving him 32 on the season.
The Sabres would take that 1-0 lead into the third period, but Johan Larsson was sick and tired of not scoring tonight, and he fired in his tenth goal of the season just twelve seconds into the period to put the Sabres up two. The decils would get one back later in the period, but Buffalo would seal the deal thank to Jack Eichel and the hardest working empty net goal you'll ever see. Seriously, Eichel fought off all six skaters and four or five guys off the Devils bench to flick the puck past the invisible goalie for a 3-1 Sabres win.
The Sabres kept their hope of a .500 season alive (see below) and will finish their season this weekend with a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday.
1. Will it be Gionta or Justin Bailey tonight?
It was Brian Gionta (sad emoji) and his stat line was literally zero everything.
2. Can the Sabres dominate the dot?
The Sabres won 31 faceoffs to the 24 of the Devils, clearly ensuring their victory thanks to dominance in the circle.
3. Will the Sabres keep their quest for .500 alive?
Yes! Three more points in their final two games will ensure a .500 points percentage and much rejoicing amongst the Sabres fans.
Comment of the Game