On Tuesday night, Buffalo continued their three-game home stand with their matchup against the Winnipeg Jets. In the first of two meetings on the year, the Sabres come away with an impressive regulation victory, 4-2.
The Buffalo Sabres primarily dominated the entire first period of play. Buffalo outshot the Jets 19-7 and all four lines were firing on all cylinders. Buffalo’s 19 shots were the most by the Sabres in a period all season, but the score remained 0-0 after one. The fourth line of Matt Ellis, Brian Flynn, and Kevin Porter was the hardest working line in the period, creating many quality chances and working hard for loose pucks. It seemed like that both Ellis and Porter were ready on stand-by whenever the Sabres needed them.
In the second period, Winnipeg controlled the first half of the period by scoring two goals just 36-seconds apart from one another. Mark Scheifele’s first goal beat Ryan Miller glove side, and then Scheifele beat Miller again on the blocker side. Steve Ott brought Buffalo back to within one goal with 9:44 left in the period. For Ott, it was his first goal in the past 12 games. The score remained 2-1 until the conclusion of the second period. Buffalo was outshot in the second period, 12-5, but were energized after the Ott goal.
In the third period, Buffalo exploded early with a goal by Marcus Foligno just 50-seconds into the third period. It was also Marcus Foligno’s first goal in the past 12 games. Under a minute-and-a-half later, Matt Moulson deflected a Christian Ehrhoff shot past Ondrej Pavelec on the powerplay to give Buffalo the lead. Later in the third period, Matt Ellis got in on the scoring to give Buffalo the 4-2 lead. It was Ellis’ first goal since the 2011-12 season with the Sabres. Ryan Miller made 25 saves and shut down the Jets’ offense to solidify the 4-2 win.
“It was nice to final see some production,” said Sabres captain, Steve Ott. “When you score three or four goals in a game, you have a strong chance of winning on a nightly basis. Tonight it was nice because we did it all ways, and we all contributed.”
Ted Nolan was impressed by his team’s play tonight and the work they have been displaying on the ice. “The one thing we’ve been trying to work on is our consistency, and to just keep going. You never know, if you keep going usually good things happen,” said Nolan. “Tonight was nice to see the team get rewarded for not giving up and continuing to work, and we got the breaks when we needed them.”
Matt Ellis, tonight’s third star of the game, was very happy with the team’s performance tonight on the ice. “We did a good job getting pucks down low and getting pucks to the net,” said Ellis. “I was the recipient of good things that happen when you go to the net, but it’s a great feeling to help contribute to a victory and hopefully we can move forward.”
Moving forward, coach Nolan wants his team to focus on is playing an honest game. “We have to play an honest game from start to finish,” said Nolan. “If you don’t play an honest hockey game, you’re not gonna win too many. So tonight, for the mass majority, we played a pretty good hockey game.”
The Sabres will close out their three-game home stand on Thursday night to start a home-and-home series with the Boston Bruins. The Bruins will be coming off a 2-0 victory over the Calgary Flames this evening. Opening face-off is scheduled for 7:05pm. The game can be viewed on MSG and heard on WGR 550 AM.
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