The Sabres went in to Carolina in search for their first road victory against the Hurricanes since November 18th, 2011. It wasn’t a textbook victory and it didn’t go as planned, but the Sabres managed to come out on top as Zemgus Girgensons notched the game-winner in the eighth round of the shootout.
Both teams came in without a win in the young season, but they both left with points. After taking a 3-1 lead in the third period, the Sabres coughed it up and allowed the Hurricanes to storm right back into the game. Carolina outshot Buffalo 11-2 in the third period and Zach Boychuck knotted the game at 3 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.
Jhonas Enroth came up big throughout the game, but even bigger in the shootout. Enroth stopped seven of eight shooters, allowing the lone goal to Chris Terry. Matt Moulson scored in the first round and Girgensons ended it in the eight, helping Buffalo to its’ first win of the season. Enroth stopped 22 of 25 shots on the night.
“It’s been a tough start for us, we felt this was the night,” Enroth said. “It was pretty emotional to win that in the shootout.”
Marcus Foligno led the Sabres on offense, recording a pair of goals for his fourth career two-goal game and first since March of 2013. Foligno took a pass from Chris Stewart on a 2-on-1 rush and beat Cam Ward to put Buffalo on the board, giving the Sabres their first lead of the season. He ripped another one past Ward in the third period to give the Sabres an insurance goal, a lead that would soon be erased.
The win breaks a 10 game losing streak for Buffalo dating back to last season. The last victory came on April 1st in a shootout against New Jersey and the previous regulation win was March 20th in Edmonton.
The Sabres ended up with one more shot than Carolina, edging them out 26-25 in that category.
Torrey Mitchell scored the other Buffalo goal as he recieved a one-timer from Brian Gionta and took a shot that handcuffed Cam Ward, giving him his first goal of the season. The assist was Gionta’s first point as a Sabre.
Former Sabre Nathan Gerbe was all over the ice, creating chances for his teammates and nearly scoring on multiple occasions himself. Enroth made a breakaway save on Gerbe early on and was saved by the goal post in the shootout.
“We bent, but we didn’t break,” Nolan said. “Sometimes you’ll take an ugly win over a beautiful loss.”
The Sabres will have the next couple days off before they host Florida on Friday at the First Niagara Center. That game is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be seen on MSG.