Who knew a matchup against the NHL’s top scoring team would result in such a low scoring battle? This game required a shootout to determine the winner and Jhonas Enroth stopped Ryan Callahan to cap off the Sabres’ 2-1 victory over the Lightning at the First Niagara Center.
Cody Hodgson and Tyler Ennis each scored in the shootout, while Enroth stopped both shooters he faced. The Sabres battled back in this one as Zemgus Girgensons chipped one over Evgeni Nabokov, sprawled out in the crease, with just under four minutes to go, tying the game at one. Josh Gorges recorded an assist on the goal, his 100th career point.
After defeating the Montreal Canadiens on consecutive nights, the Sabres are suddenly riding a hot streak, winning six of their past seven games.
“We stuck with the process and over a few games and we started to figure out how to play in order to be successful,” Tyler Myers said. “Overall that was one of our better games. We’re starting to play the right way.”
The Sabres won for the first time this season when the opponent scores first, after going 0-12-1 in that same situation prior to tonight.
In the dying seconds of regulation, Steven Stamkos ripped a shot off the goal post that bounces into the crease. Enroth was able to cover up in time while a scramble for the puck began. The Lightning had a few opportunities at the tail end of the third, but it was Tyler Myers with a couple chances in the overtime period.
Tampa Bay came into the game with a league-leading 90 goals, 11 more than the Pittsburgh, second on that list. The Sabres were able to limit the Lightning to just two shots in the opening period, the fewest for a Sabres opponent since Florida had one in the 3rd period on March 17th, 2012.
A slow-paced first period for the Lightning only lasted that long. Tampa Bay came out with a different tone to start the second period, registering six shots within just a few minutes. After 40 minutes of play, they had an 18-11 advantage in shots.
The Sabres had their chances, but couldn’t figure out Evgeni Nabokov until late. Tyler Ennis came close as he rang one of the post and Brian Flynn had two opportunities where the puck just went wide of the net.
Ondrej Palat opened the scoring midway through the third period for what turned out to be the only goal for Tampa Bay.
The Sabres will have a day off before heading south to complete the home and home set against the Lightning. That game on Thursday is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on MSG.