Sabres at Flyers Recap: Resilient Sabres Battle for Deserved 4-3 Win
Girgensons plays hero in OT as Buffalo turns solid performance into a nice road win.
The Sabres were the better team Tuesday night in Philadelphia, using an uncharacteristically fast start to set the tone, but had to fight until the end for a 4-3 overtime win over the Flyers.
Buffalo out-shot Philadelphia, 40-33, but it took extra time to seal the win. Zemgus Girgensons' breakaway goal in the 3-on-3 period ensured the Sabres left with two points in tow.
The highlight of the night, though, was Tyler Ennis' tally to open the scoring. It was one of his best as a Sabres (and that's saying something) and it came about thanks to a superb individual effort and an unwillingness to give up on the play.
my word, this Ennis goal! pic.twitter.com/m92jq2DfXO— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 27, 2015
Scoring first (or in the first period at all for that matter) has been rare for the Sabres and it provided a noticeable spark. Jame McGinn's first of the season followed soon after and Buffalo went into the intermission with as many goals in tonight's opening frame as all of its first periods this season combined, while limiting the Flyers to just three even strength shots on goal.
A soft goal allowed by Chad Johnson kept Philadelphia in it, though, but the net minder improved as the game went on. He finished the night with 30 saves, including some big ones in a 13-save second period to send the Sabres into the final stanza with a lead for only the second time this season.
Bouncing back was a theme for Buffalo. Jake McCabe's second of the season on a shot from the point re-established the Sabres' one-goal lead just 1:24 after Brayden Schenn tied the score at two. Jack Eichel positioned himself well in front of Steve Mason to give the shot the eyes it needed to find twine. It was a nice moment for Eichel, who struggled at times throughout the game, especially during the second period where careless play in his own end led to a few turnovers.
The Sabres had to pick themselves up again after Schenn again knotted the score with under a minute to go in regulation and Girgensons' goal 2:29 into overtime, as well as a huge Hasek-esque save from Johnson, secured the well-earned win.
Girgensons OT winner pic.twitter.com/S24D2OurKk— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 28, 2015
Two Questions Answered
1. Who will step up offensively with Kane out?
The biggest spark came from the Moulson-Girgensons-Gionta line. That trio was arguably the Sabres' best line tonight, generating 10 shots on goal. Girgensons was especially noticeable, with a team-high five chances on the net and it was good to see him rewarded for his best game of the season with the OT winner.
2. What will the score be after two periods?
The Sabres led, 2-1, after 40 minutes tonight. It was just the second time all season Buffalo went into the third period with a lead. While to would have been nice to see them close the game out in regulation, the Sabres eventually saw their solid effort out in overtime.