Score: BUF 4 | WPG 2
Shots: Sabres 27 | Jets 36
Buffalo Sabres Goals: Rasmus Dahlin (4,5), Anders Bjork (4), Jeff Skinner (9)
Winnipeg Jets Goals: Pierre-Luc Dubois (14), Nikolaj Ehlers (11)
Plus-1: UPL Looks Good
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made several key saves to keep Buffalo in the game over the course of Tuesday night, including robbing Mark Scheifele and stopping Pierre-Luc Dubois a handful of times in a row. The Sabres’ goaltending situation is still very much in flux, with Aaron Dell being sent back to Rochester, Malcolm Subban coming off injured reserve and Dustin Tokarski finally returning from his quarantine in Florida, but Luukkonen has shown himself as deserving of a look.
UPL robs Scheifele's one-timer. pic.twitter.com/9JHdRYw8fo— The Charging Buffalo (@TheChargingBUF) December 15, 2021
Minus-1: Holding Onto a Lead.
The Sabres twice had a lead Tuesday night before pretty rapidly giving it up, allowing the Jets to tie the game. Dahin’s opening goal stood for 2:50 before Dubois scored. After Bjork later gave Buffalo the lead again, it took just 1:06 for Ehlers to find the equalizer. Having a lead is great, but if you can’t hold onto it and allow a goal shortly thereafter, it doesn’t mean a whole lot. You can’t build momentum like that, and it’s not sustainable for a team hoping to shake out of lengthy winless streak.
Plus-1: Finally, a Win!
Did the Sabres forget what a victory feels like? Tuesday’s game was a nice reminder, as Buffalo finally snapped its seven-game winless streak with a much-needed win. Lest you think I’m getting too optimistic here, I’m fully aware that this team has still lost 11 of its last 13 games. But a win is a win, and this is a good way to start a three-game road trip.
The Sabres genuinely did not look bad Tuesday night, which is something we haven't necessarily been able to say a lot lately. They fought for the win, and in the end, it paid off. Despite letting the Jets tie the game twice, Buffalo held on instead of collapsing. Dahlin had his first multi-goal game, Luukkonen was sharp for the most part, and while it wasn’t a perfect game, it was better.
Buffalo’s road trip continues on Thursday in Minnesota with an 8 p.m. tilt against the Wild.