#5: November 8, 2011 – Jets 5 @ Sabres 6 (OT)
Another game with everything. An incredible bout between Cody McCormick and Tanner Glass got the blood flowing. The offense followed suit. Corey Tropp notched his first NHL goal, while Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy grabbed two a piece. Roy and Jason Pominville each had 3-point efforts. Perhaps an under-appreciated factor was Ryan Miller’s ability to play a full game after being yanked 3 days prior.
#4: March 19, 2012 – Sabres 7 @ Lightning 3
Buffalo’s largest offensive output of the season came in mid-March when the lit up the Tampa Bay Lightning for 7 goals. The line of Foligno-Stafford-Ennis remained hot and garnered 7 total points with Marcus Foligno scoring 2 goals. The Captain raised the Population of Pominville by two that night as well. Cody Hodgson also managed to earn his first two points as a member of the Sabres organization.
#3: March 27, 2012 – Sabres 5 @ Capitals 1
Just over a week after their thrashing of Tampa Bay, Buffalo rolled into Washington in desperation mode. Cody McCormick scored his first goal of the season midway through the first period and Buffalo soon built a 3-goal lead. The tide soon turned toward the Capitals. While Buffalo did not make the playoffs, this and game #1 were playoff like games that made sure everyone got their money’s worth.
#2: February 8, 2012 – Bruins 0 @ Sabres 6
The Sabres may have scored 7 on the Lightning, by they won by the largest margin early in February. With a beautiful set up for a goal from Ville Leino that was followed by a dazzling Tyler Ennis rush, Buffalo’s offense was clicking on all cylinders. A spirited fight from Cody McCormick and Patrick Kaleta was willing to drop the mitts with the much heavier Milan Lucic. This was not the best night of the season though, not by a long shot.
#1: April 3, 2012 – Maple Leafs 5 @ Sabres 6 (OT)
Far and away the most exciting game of the season, if not the young decade. It all began 12 seconds into the game when Marcus Foligno separated Carl Gunnarson from the puck, his helmet and his shoulder. Shortly thereafter Braden McNabb nailed Matt Frattin and then picked his first NHL fight with tough guy Jay Rosehill and acquitted himself nicely. McNabb continued to throw the body around and Foligno threw Frattin around in his first NHL fight. Jordan Leopold was the hero, sending the game to overtime, where Derek Roy completed the inevitable comeback and completed one of the greatest games in recent memory.
Honorable Mention: November 23, 2011 – Bruins 4 @ Sabres 3 (SO)
Yes this game was a loss, but it was a win in the eyes of Sabres players, fans and most importantly, goaltenders. This game was feisty from the very beginning. Paul Gaustad tried to exact revenge on Milan Lucic (see: Top 10 Worst Games) and Robyn Regehr ended up scrapping with Zdeno Chara. It was a close game and even though Buffalo lost, it was a fun game to watch.