FINAL: BUF 4 WPJ 3
SHOTS: BUF 36 WPJ 35
POWERPLAY: BUF 0/4 WPJ 1/3
WPJ: Nikolaj Ehlers (14) assists, Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele
BUF: Ryan O’Reilly (8) assist, Sam Reinhart
WPJ: Drew Stafford (3) assists, Blake Wheeler and Mathieu Perreault
WPJ: Joel Armia (2) assists, Adam Lowry and Josh Morrissey
BUF: Marcus Foligno (7) assist, Cody Franson
BUF: Zemgus Girgensons (5) assist, Matt Moulson
BUF: Brian Gionta (8) assist, Ryan O’Reilly
Buffalo just came off of a tough 4-3 overtime loss to the Chicago BlackHawks and looked to bounce back in an afternoon game against the Winnipeg Jets.
Just under 5 minutes into the 1st period, Jake McCabe was caught too high up the ice which gave Winnipeg a 2 on 1 and Patrik Laine gave Nikolaj Ehlers a nice pass across the ice and Ehlers put it in the wide open net to give the Jets a 1-0 lead.
It took the Sabres awhile to respond but in the last minute of the 1st period, Sam Reinhart gave Ryan O’Reilly a beautiful pass and O’Reilly slid it through Connor Hellebuyck’s pads.
Within 5 minutes former Sabre players Drew Stafford and Joel Armia both scored to give Winnipeg a 3-1 lead. Both Armia and Stafford were traded to Winnipeg in the trade that brought Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian to Buffalo. Tyler Myers who was also in that trade did not play because he is dealing with an injury at the moment.
Buffalo didn’t even have a single shot for over half of the 2nd period. But during a tv timeout, Dan Bylsma was screaming at his players and that message by Buffalo’s head coach definitely woke the team up.
Buffalo had many chances on the powerplay but they just couldn’t beat Connor Hellebuyck. Eichel also hit a post off of a one-timer shot.
A little over 5 minutes into the 3rd period Marcus Foligno beat Connor Hellebuyck on a breakaway to cut the lead to 3-2.
And just 26 seconds later Zemgus Girgensons scored to tie the game at 3.
Jake McCabe flattened Patrik Laine. McCabe had a big cut under his eye and eventually returned to the game but Laine did not return.
Just under 10 minutes into the 3rd Brian Gionta showed great patience to score to give Buffalo the 4-3 lead. This was Gionta’s 1st goal in 10 games.
Robin Lehner would have a perfect 3rd period and Buffalo would hold on to their one goal lead and not blow it like they’ve done several times this season.
Buffalo will face the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night and this is a must win game for Buffalo. The Flyers occupy the 2nd wildcard spot in the eastern conference with 47 points. The Sabres have 39 points and they have 2 games in hand on Philadelphia. Buffalo is now 5 points back of the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 3rd spot in the Atlantic division. The Sabres have really gotten themselves out of a huge hole after getting 5 points in their last 3 games. This team needs to keep winning and hopefully, they can play the way they played in the 3rd period all the time.