FINAL BUF 4-2 FLA
BUF O’Reilly Assists: Eichel, Kulikov
BUF Bogosian Assists: Moulson, Girgensons
BUF Gionta Assist: Moulson
FLA Marchessault Assists: Huberdeau, Yandle
BUF Foligno Assists: Eichel, Reinhart
FLA Huberdeau Unassisted
Brian Gionta was honored for his 1,000th NHL game played. GM Tim Murray presented the captain with a silver stick, also with flowers and custom made painting. A video highlighting Gio’s life played. This was expertly done.
The goaltenders for tonight were James Reimer for the Panthers and Robin Lehner for the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo entered this game trying to build off a 5-2 victory over the Leafs two nights earlier. A miracle would occur a minute and a half into the game when Jakob Kindl tripped Eichel, drawing a penalty. Relish this, for we won’t get a call like that for another 10 years. With four seconds left on the man-advantage Eichel would gain speed along the wing and get a shot off Reimer’s far pad which sprung right out to ROR who buried the game’s first goal.
Sam Reinhart had an opportunity to make it 2-0 but fired wide. You could drive an 18 wheeler through the holes the Panthers were leaving open on defense.
Master McMullet Jaromir Jagr had a great opportunity to tie but clanked the crossbar. The Panthers were turnover prone in their own end. Rodrigues, Kane and Gionta gave them headaches as they tried clearing the puck but the Sabres were persistent. With 6 minutes remaining in the period Zach Bogosian would score on his own rebound, beating a crouched Reimer. Bogo has had a good two games. This was a softy by Reimer.
Buffalo began the 2nd period 2-0. Huberdeau hooked Kulikov 25 seconds into the period sending the Sabres to their 2nd power play. The millennium man Gionta would put the Sabres up 3-0 a minute into the peeper. Gionta showed tremendous patience as the puck bounced off Jason Demers.
The Panthers had another chance to get on the board but a valiant effort by the Sabres down low kept the puck out on an odd man rush. Eichel was tackled moments later behind the Florida goal and got up slowly, limping to the bench. Meanwhile, Tyler Ennis just could not buy a goal. A deflection was stopped with Reimer’s toe, followed by a shot on a wide open net that dinged the post as Reimer lay on his back. Carrier would take a penalty sending the Panthers to their first PP. Marchesseault scored to lower the deficit to 2.
Lots of action continued happening in front of the Sabres net throughout the period. Marcus Foligno scored the Sabres 4th goal of the night, beating a staggered Reimer along the wall. Florida would make a goaltending switch as Reto Berra entered the game. Huberdeau answered seconds later scoring off a Rodrigues giveaway.
Colton Sceviour had a chance to lower the deficit to 1 with a minute to go on a 2 on 1 but would miss the net. Zemgus Girgensons increased the lead to 3 once more on a falling rebound opportunity. The play would go to review as Zemgus kicked the puck as he fell backward. None the less, this was a weak puck to allow to slip by and if Reimer’s injury is bad then the Panthers playoff hopes are done. The goal would be called back as it was ruled Zemgus kicked it in. Justin Falk followed this with a tripping penalty.
The Sabres would successfully defend against the powerplay to begin the 3rd. Gorges and Huberdeau dropped the gloves after Josh leveled Barkov. This was a short tilt as the inexperienced Huberdeau lost his footing, thankfully avoiding smashing his head on the end boards. That could have been scary.
Dmitry Kulikov hooked Reilly Smith on a breakaway and despite taking a shot he was awarded a penalty shot. Robin Lehner made an incredible glove save to keep the score at 4-2.
Buffalo had another chance with 3 minutes remaining to go up 5-2 before Evander lost the puck, followed by a Jagr hooking penalty. Moulson would go for interference, allowing Florida to pull their goaltender. Buffalo held off the Panthers to win he game 4-2.
- A wine festival is the most Buffalo Sabres event ever. Instead of an alumni game, you can get drunk with the Sabres of old. This is Buffalo, we’re blue collar as it gets. How about a fan festival where all fans can meet the team?
- Derek MacKenzie…does anyone really know what he does? Just kidding, a veteran like him deserves captaincy based on experience no matter their stats.
- Someone on the production team thinks Bob Woods is cute because the camera was on him a lot.