Sabres Take the Desert by Storm

The Sabres took two points from the Coyotes in Arizona.

Score: Sabres 5, Coyotes 2

Shots: Buffalo: 43, Arizona: 31

Buffalo Sabres Goals: Jeff Skinner (14, 15), Tage Thompson (25), Tyson Jost (2), Kyle Okposo (3)

Arizona Coyotes Goals: Shane Gostisbehere (8), Barrett Hayton (1)

Plus 1: Skinner’s Return

The Sabres got a much-needed boost in Saturday night’s game, as Jeff Skinner returned from his three-game suspension. It’s clear how much Skinner brings to the team, not just on the ice but on the bench and in the locker room. His offensive skill and his personality are equally thrilling, and that was evident on Saturday.

Skinner opened the scoring for Buffalo, tying the game at one with a power-play tally just under three minutes after Gostisbehere’s goal. He potted his second of the game late in the middle frame, then added an assist on Okposo’s last-minute goal. With three points, he was named first star of the game. He also accounted for eight shots on goal.

Plus 1: All-Around Effort

Six different Sabres players recorded a point in Saturday’s win, including Skinner, Thompson and Alex Tuch, who each had three points. Thirteen of eighteen skaters registered at least one shot on goal, led by Skinner (8), Thompson (6) and Tuch (5).

Rasmus Dahlin also recorded five shots on goal, potted two assists and played a whopping 29:15. Mattias Samuelsson stepped up for 28:30 of ice time. Thompson, playing in front of a small family crowd, had a great game, as expected.

Only two Sabres players skated shy of ten minutes of ice time.

JJ Peterka played 10:30 and was the only Sabres forward who did not record a shot on goal.

And of course, in goal, Craig Anderson made 29 saves.

Final Thoughts

It was good to see the Sabres back with a full six-man defense crew, as Jeremy Davies had been recalled from Rochester. With Jacob Bryson on IR, but Ilya Lyubushkin now able to return, it’ll give Buffalo a little more flexibility. Owen Power is also still day-to-day.

As it stands right now, the Sabres are tied for fifth in the division with Detroit, with 32 points, and are on a three-game winning streak as they head into Vegas Monday night.