Score: Buffalo 4, Carolina 2
Shots: BUF: 22 | CAR: 34
Buffalo Sabres Goals: Jeff Skinner, Casey Mittelstadt, Victor Olofsson, Dylan Cozens
Carolina Hurricanes Goals: Jesper Fast, Nino Niederreiter
Plus 1: A Fast & Furious Few Minutes
After ramping things up as the first period went on, the Sabres came out strong to start the second. It took just 1:21 into the period for Jeff Skinner to score off an insanely beautiful pass from Tage Thompson, tying the game at one.
If you missed it, or maybe you just want to watch it again... and again... and again:
About a minute later, Buffalo was afforded its second power play opportunity of the night. Although it was ultimately fruitless - Carolina does have an excellent power kill, after all - it was a significant improvement over their advantage in the first period. It was evident that the energy was flowing and the team was vibing; they spent a lot of time in the offensive zone and had multiple solid chances. (Literally the polar opposite of their first-period PP.)
Despite not scoring on the advantage, the Sabres maintained pressure and took a 2-1 lead just under six minutes into the period on Casey Mittelstadt’s fourth goal of the season. He now has nine points in his last nine games.
Mittelstadt’s goal capped off a strong few minutes of play for the Sabres, effectively helping swing the momentum in Buffalo’s favor.
Plus 1: It’s Been a Long Time
This may or may not be news to anyone, but it’s still worth pointing out. Tage Thompson recently passed the 30-goal mark, and Jeff Skinner is now one goal away from hitting 30.
Honestly... it’s a big deal for the Sabres. This franchise hasn’t had two 30-goal scorers since the 2010-2011 season when Thomas Vanek & Drew Stafford both passed that mark. It’s been a long time coming, and obviously there’ve been a lot of factors along the way... but it’ll certainly be a welcome change.
Plus 1: Some Purely Beautiful Goals
From Skinner’s goal off that great pass from Thompson to Mittelstadt’s nifty shot, the Sabres had a few beautiful goals on Tuesday night. Their third of the evening, from Victor Olofsson, was no different. Rasmus Dahlin batted a puck out of mid-air and got it over to Olofsson, who waited just a beat until he had the shot properly set up, and then sniped it.
I mean, LOOK at this.
Tuesday’s win was a long time coming for the Sabres, who hadn’t beaten the Hurricanes since March 22, 2016. (H/T to Mike Harrington The Buffalo News for that tidbit.) Carolina also had an insanely impressive record when leading after the first period, and yet the Sabres pulled it off. Props are also due to Craig Anderson, who made 32 saves.
The comment of the game came from AcesNines: “The best revenge is making someone fish the puck out of their net.”
Indeed, AcesNines. Indeed.
The Sabres and Canes are back at it on Thursday night in Raleigh. It’s a 7:30 pm puck drop on ESPN+.