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Recap: Special teams heroics give Sabres 3-2 win in OT

The Sabres defended an overtime power play, then scored on their own for a thrilling 3-2 win.

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

With the penalty kill that the Buffalo Sabres have displayed over the past few months, every kill is a terrifying adventure in waiting for the hammer to get dropped.

Taking a penalty in overtime? Forget about it, game over.

Unless it isn’t. Kyle Okposo took a hooking penalty that might have saved a goal in OT, and the Sabres somehow showed up with their best kill of the game. That was immediately followed by a breakout that lead to Detroit committing a hook of their own, and while on the power play, Ryan O’Reilly flipped a soft pass in front to Okposo, who slammed home the game winner with less than a minute to go.

Speaking of O’Reilly, he scored in the third period on a beastly goal that saw him literally throw Danny DeKeyser to the ice as he took the puck behind the net, and roofed a sweet backhand over the vowel-challenged Petr Mrazek that tied the game at two. ROR was also a beast in overtime, playing almost all of the four-plus minutes of the extra period and earning tonight’s first star.

The Sabres star players came to play tonight - not only did we see the aforementioned Okposo and O’Reilly goals, but Reinhart and Eichel lead the team with six shots each, and added a goal and two assists respectively. The team overall put 37 shots on net tonight, one of their highest totals of the season.

When this team’s best guys are going, they can hang with just about anyone, and it’s nice to see them give the home fans another win before heading out on the road for a few games.

Anders Nilsson played another solid game in net, and improved his impressive home record to 6-1-1. Oh, and Ristolainen played a career-high 35:24 tonight. That’s not a typo.

The only downer on the night was that Jake McCabe left the game after being railed into the boards in the first period, did not return, and was seen leaving the arena in a sling. We’ll hopefully know more about his injury soon. There’s no rest for the weary, however, as the Sabres play in Montreal tomorrow night. Get some sleep, boys.

Two Questions

1. How will the Sabres play in the second period?

Fairly good, seeing as they scored the only goal in the period. We did it!

2. Can the Sabres break a two-decade old streak tonight?

Yes! This is the first time they’ve won two in a row against Detroit since 1995, and the first time they’ve won two in the same season versus the Wings since 1990.

Comment of the Game


Wings always get fried in Buffalo. Outcome was quite foreseeable.

Posted by EichEichBaby