The Dallas Stars entered Buffalo tonight to face the Sabres, not knowing what to expect. The Sabres quickly showed the Stars that they could expect a tough battle from a team that has nothing to lose.
Things started out quietly at the First Niagara Center between the Dallas Stars and Buffalo Sabres.
Both teams would spend the bulk of the first period exchanging changes on their respective ends of the ice.
As the period ticked away, both teams appeared ready to take advantage of their opportunities.
Buffalo was the first to strike, at 18:17, when a Tyler Myers shot deflected off a Stars’ defender and passed Anders Lindbeck.
After the opening twenty minutes, the Sabres had a 1-0 lead.
A late first period penalty on Dallas allowed Buffalo to begin the second period on an abbreviated power play, and the Sabres would make the Stars pay.
Just 43 seconds into the period, a beautiful pass from Stewart to Ennis would result in a goal. Ennis’ 13th of the season, on the power play, gave the Sabres a 2-0 lead.
As the period progressed, the ice seemed to be tilted in favor of the Sabres.
Buffalo was pushing the offense and controlling the flow of the entire game. This was no more evident than when the Sabres scored another goal.
A tic-tac-toe play from Stewart to Zadorov to Girgensons put Buffalo up 3-0.
This goal was very impressive to many, as Zadorov had enough vision and patience to realize Girgensons had an open net to shoot at.
Things seemed to be going Buffalo’s way, until a late Josh Gorges penalty put the Stars on the power play.
Tyler Seguin would not be denied on the man advantage, as he blew a snipe by Jhonas Enroth. Seguin’s 29th of the season brought the Sabres lead down to 3-1.
Buffalo was able to get to the intermission with a two goal lead, but the momentum appeared to be shifting.
The third period began, with the Sabres on the power play, but clearly the Stars were ready to take over this game.
Dominating puck possession early in the third would help Dallas draw Buffalo closer.
The Stars were able to complete a beautiful play, with Cody Eakin putting his 10th goal of the season passed Jhonas Enroth, at 9:47, in what can be described as a “no-doubter”. This goal made it 3-2 Buffalo.
Dallas would turn the pressure up to eleven, but Buffalo would not break.
The Sabres would hold on for an impressive 3-2 victory, their first at home since December 27.
With this victory, the Sabres improve their record to 16-34-3 and gives them 35 points on the season.
It’ll be a quick turnaround for these Buffalo Sabres, as they’ll face the New York Islanders tomorrow afternoon. Puck drops shortly after 5 PM, and the game will be broadcast on MSG.