Evander Kane’s return to Winnipeg didn’t go exactly as planned, but the Sabres found a way to snap their losing streak and defeat the Jets, 4-2.
Many Sabres fans would’ve liked to see Kane score a goal, especially a game winner, but after watching the game on Sunday evening, everything worked out for Buffalo.
Kane had the opportunity to score an empty netter and finish off his former team. Instead, he found a way to get the puck to Sam Reinhart so the youngster could record his first career NHL hat trick. In a way, it was better than him scoring a goal.
“I’ve never scored a hat trick in this league yet. I figured I might as well get Sam his. I’m glad we got two points. This is game 42 for us, the start of the 2nd half and we needed to get back on the winning side.” – Evander Kane
That play shows both Winnipeg and Buffalo his character and was very nice to see. Kane was getting booed consistently and had a target on his back before the puck even dropped.
Head coach Dan Bylsma acknowledged the play and said he received some text messages from others saying how classy it was.
“I thought it was great. Class move by Evander to dish the puck, I know how much he wanted to score one tonight.” – Dan Bylsma
Kane wasn’t the only one returning for the first time. Zach Bogosian may have had a different reception, but he said he enjoyed the game, too.
“It felt awesome. It was nice to come back. Stuff like that doesn’t go unnoticed, they were excited to see me and I was excited to be back.” – Zach Bogosian
The Sabres came out fast as Sam Reinhart ripped a shot past Connor Hellebuyck to give Buffalo an early 1-0 lead. The first goal was important to get as the MTS Centre was rocking with loud, passionate fans.
The quick start quieted the crowd, but Winnipeg responded only a few minutes later. Blake Wheeler’s deflection brought the crowd right back into it.
However, the Sabres found a way to win this one and it was an exciting game that lasted almost three hours. Buffalo needed a win like this to start the second half. Now, they need to use it to put together a winning streak.
The Sabres have some tough games coming up, including a brief west coast trip. Their next game is scheduled for Tuesday night against Minnesota. That game will be an 8 p.m. puck drop.