Whenever the Buffalo Sabres play the New Jersey Devils, it tends to be a pretty unremarkable game that tests the fans' endurance (check these comments out). This game was no different. The Sabres did jump into the lead yet again, make that four games now.
Ryan O'Reilly opened the scoring on the powerplay with a top shelf snipe. Johan Larsson doubled that lead to begin the third period, scoring just 12 seconds in. The Devils pulled one back but the indomitable Jack Eichel scored an empty-netter that showed how tough he is to knock off the puck, game over 3-1.
Chad Johnson was the listed first star of the game, with Ryan O'Reilly getting the second star. However, DBTB readers were much more impressed by Eichel's effort and he came in first with ROR and CJ slightly behind.
#1 - Jack Eichel, rating 4.5
If we learned anything from this game about this young prodigy is that he possesses manbearpig-like strength and is not like the finesse players we've gotten used to seeing over the years. Eichel had a goal and an assist in 17:28.
#2 - Ryan O'Reilly, rating 4.4
Masterton Trophy controversy aside, ROR has truly played his way into the fans' hearts. Here is an all-encompassing quote that describes him perfectly.
That is all.
#3 - Chad Johnson, rating 4.2
CJ had a pretty nondescript game, which is usually a very good thing for a goaltender. He ended the night with 18 saves on 19 shots, good for a .947 save percentage.
Goat of the Game - Matt Moulson, rating 2.2
In our inaugural goat nomination, the fans' favorite whipping boy took the award, by a good distance too. Moulson broke the streak of zeroes by his name on the stats sheet with one takeaway in 9:14 of work, which included over two and a half minutes of power play time.
Image courtesy of the Buffalo Sabres