The Sabres entered tonight’s game still in search of their first win of the season. Finally, they were able to get the monkey off their back with a 3-1 victory over the Ducks.
Recently recalled Justin Bailey made his presence felt early in the game giving the Sabres the lead less than two minutes into the game. He cleaned up a rebound after some good zone pressure. Nathan Beaulieu and Johan Larsson picked up helpers on the goal. Buffalo would head to the room with the 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
1st shift of the season, 1st goal of the season.— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) October 16, 2017
Welcome back, @JustinBailey95. pic.twitter.com/Petrml8wj4
In the second period, another unfortunate error that’s haunted the team all season popped up again. Ryan O’Reilly fumbled a puck at the offensive blue line with the man advantage and Rasmus Ristolainen was unable to recover. Chris Wagner got in alone on Johnson and beat him five-hole to tie the game at one. This would be the fifth short-handed goal against for the Sabres in six games.
We appeared to be headed into the final period tied at one, but after a miscue in front of the net by Josh Manson. Benoit Pouliot was able to poke the puck away that bounced off a Ducks defender’s leg and by John Gibson to give the Sabres back the lead with just over 30 seconds remaining in the second period.
This ended up being the GWG. We'll take it! #CheersToHockey @LabattUSA pic.twitter.com/UEQW29qJGn— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) October 16, 2017
In the third period, the Sabres backed off a little and let the Ducks bring some pressure. However, Chad Johnson was up to the task throughout the night making 25 saves on 26 shots. After a nerve-racking mini-breakaway from former Sabres forward Derek Grant, Larsson was able to ice the game with an empty-netter for the first win of the season.
What to Watch
1. Justin Bailey recalled.
Bailey played 9:39 in the game and scored early to set the tone. Good first game for the young forward. He looked confident and was very noticeable when he was on the ice with his speed and use of his size.
2. Still in search of the first win
They found it!
3. Lineup changes coming?
Antipin didn’t get back on the ice tonight. Seth Griffith was scratched in place of Bailey.