Carter Hutton made 43 saves and Conor Sheary scored twice as the Sabres recorded their first win of the season on Saturday night at KeyBank Center.
Buffalo was able to get the right momentum going in the first period on the power play, as Sheary got one by Henrik Lundqvist. It appeared as if the Sabres may have had too many men on the ice, but there was no call.
When asked about Sheary’s first goal after the game, Housley gave a grin and said, “Just a little miscommunication on a change on a power play but sometimes if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying. We got away with that one.”
The Sabres came into the second period as energetic as they were in the first, scoring less than two minutes in. Sheary, once again scored on the power play, assisted by Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart. His second goal of the game was also the 50th of his career.
For the rest of the evening, the Sabres played with noticeable energy, keeping the crowd optimistic and excited.
It was looking like a shutout, until the Rangers’ Brett Howden earned his first career goal, off a rebound late in the game.
New York soon pulled Henrik Lundqvist with about three minutes remaining. The clock ticked down the final 11 seconds of the game as Eichel blocked a shot and soared down the ice to score his first of the season, an unassisted empty-netter with 1.8 seconds remaining.
“Scoring that first goal was big,” Housley said. “Obviously, our special teams were very good tonight. Carter Hutton was our best penalty killer.”
Remi Elie made his Sabres debut after being claimed off waivers from the Dallas Stars earlier this week. Elie replaced Vladimir Sobotka, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury sustained during the season-opening shutout loss to Boston.
“I loved his energy and what he brings to the game, Housley said. “He can make plays and he was certainly good in the penalty kill.”
“We’re learning to learn, we have a lot of new players getting used to each other,” Housley said.”We found a way to win, I’m really happy for our guys, they worked really hard tonight.”
The Sabres will remain at home as the Vegas Golden Knights make their way to KeyBank Center for a 3 p.m. matchup on Monday.