After their last four games ended in four losses, all in brutal fashion, and following a trade deadline that failed to produce any results, one had to imagine that the Sabres locker room was about to boil over.
And boy did they, stomping the Coyotes for much of tonight’s game, and earning a much-needed 6-3 home win.
Buffalo outshot Arizona 31-10 through two periods, doubled up the Coyotes on hits, and went 2-for-4 on the power play in what was an almost-perfect effort.
The one issue with tonight’s game was letting the Coyotes capitalize on their chances, and the game was tied 3-3 in the middle of the third period. However, the Sabres big guns would step up in the end, and with about five minutes left, Evander Kane rocketed a laser off of a great Ryan O’Reilly back-pass to put home the game winner. Foligno and Reinhart would add empty-netters to get us to the 6-3 final.
The game started in an unsettling way, giving Arizona the first goal of the game to Teemu Pulkkinen, but the Sabres were quick to respond with Marcus Foligno to tie the game, and it was a back-and forth affair (at least on the scoreboard) for the first two periods.
Special teams played a huge role tonight, with each team scoring a shorthanded goal. Foligno’s was a shorty in the first, while Tobias Rieder put one in for the ‘Yotes in the second. Luckily, the Sabres would score two power play goals in the second, from Jack Eichel and O’Reilly.
Buffalo’s big guns came up huge tonight, with Eichel and O’Reilly each earning three points, while Foligno, Reinhart, and Okposo each had two. Ristolainen added his 34th assist of the year, while Kane had the game winner, and both tied Eichel for the team lead in shots with six each.
The one black mark on tonight’s effort was that Kyle Okposo left the game with an upper body injury, and did not come out for the third period. After the game, Dan Bylsma said he would be getting an x-ray on his ribs, but had no further update. Aside from that, this was the Sabres best effort in weeks, and it broke them out of their losing streak in a big way.
1. Will the Sabres find another creative way to blow tonight’s game, or will they actually find a way to win against one of the NHL’s worst teams?
When Arizona tied the game 3-3 in the third, I assume many fans thought, “Here we go again.” But despite those third period worries, the Sabres flipped the script, and kicked in hard at the finish to secure the win.
2. Are the right Right Wingers on the right lines?
For the most part, yes. Tyler Ennis only played 13 minutes tonight and was a -1, but Foligno and Kane combined for three goals and looked good all night.
3. How many times will we hear a reference to "tanking" tonight?
*Sticks fingers in ears* “LALALALALALALA”
Comment of the Game
why does Franson take nine hours to make a pass….
I swear he has a job waiting for him at the Zootopia DMV post hockey career
Posted by B.Chalks