Buffalo’s first night back at home was not disappointing. Although they got an early start, scoring four of their goals in the first period, they held on to the lead and sent their fans home happy, as they roared throughout the entire game. It’s been a dry spell in Buffalo, but faith has finally been restored by this 2005-06 look-alike team.
Tonight’s win puts them at their first 7-game winning streak since the 2006-2007 season. This is unfamiliar territory for Buffalo – not only was it their first non-third-period comeback, but this time last season the Sabres (14-6-2) did not win their 14th game until the end of January.
“We were really focused, on our toes and attacked the game,” Sabres head coach Phil Housley said at the end of the game. “That was the start we were looking for.”
Evan Rodrigues ended the Sabres’ power play drought after scoring the third goal of the game, his first of the season, at 8:55 in the first period. It was also his first game-winning goal of his career.
The Flyers reined on the Sabres winning parade in the second period, striking some fear with two goals, giving them a two-point deficit. Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmons were able to bring confidence to their team, also outshooting the Sabres 11-5 at the end of the period — but it just wasn’t enough.
Sam Reinhart secured the Sabres win by scoring their fifth goal, an empty-netter assisted by Jack Eichel with a little over a minute and a half left in the game.
Carter Hutton made 23 saves while Calvin Pickard stopped eight shots after switching out with Alex Lyon in the second period. He was pulled with about two and a half minutes left in the game.
Buffalo will be back at home Friday evening take on the Montreal Canadiens at 4 p.m.