Sabres finally get home win No. 1,000


The Sabres won their 1,000th home game in franchise history in dramatic fashion after blowing a three goal lead, only to score late in the 3rd period to win,4-3, over the New York Islanders.

For the first time all season, Sabres coach Phil Housley centered Jack Eichel with Sam Reinhart and Evan Rodrigues, a line that rewarded him with three of the Sabres four goals tonight. Reinhart had his 5th three-point game of his career, netting two goals including the game-winner and an assist.

The Sabres started off the game sluggishly with the Islanders controlling play until midway thru when Eichel sniped a beautiful goal past Isles goalie Jaroslav Halak on the Sabres’ first shot of the game. The Islanders defense failed to cover Eichel after Reinhart broke the zone, giving Eichel time to pick his spot up high to the left. Just more then six minutes later, the Islanders defense left Evan Rodrigues alone in front and he jammed home a rebound to give Buffalo a 2-0 lead at the end of the first despite being out shot 10-4.

The Sabres had strong play in the 2nd period and were able to convert one of their two power plays with a point shot by Ristolainen being tipped in by Ryan O’Reilly to go up 3-0. Unfortunately for the Sabres, just after the second Islanders penalty expired, they were caught flat footed as John Tavares led a rush down ice and scored on a rebound in front to narrow the Sabres lead to 3-1. The last six minutes of the second period the Islanders had their chances, but Robin Lehner made some nice saves.

The third period started slowly for both teams until the Islanders’ Ross Johnson was left uncovered in front, who scored on a quick wrist shot to narrow the Sabres lead even more to 3-2 with 12:30 to go in the regulation.

The Sabres were holding strong after that until a poor penalty was called on Eichel for tripping Matthew Barzal. The Islanders capitalized on the power play with Anders Lee putting a weak backhander by Robin Lehner, who didn’t have the left post covered to tie the game at three with 5:27 to go.

Reinhart was the hero though just a minute later, picking up a Rodrigues rebound and slamming it home in front to put the Sabres ahead, 4-3, for good.

Minus the slow start in the 1st period, Buffalo played with a lot of urgency and worked hard throughout which was refreshing to see.

With this win, the Sabres were able to salvage one victory out of their five-game homestand, finishing 1-3-1. The Sabres return to action Saturday night at 7 p.m. against the red-hot Boston Bruins.



Craig Mazuchowski
Craig Mazuchowski
SUNY Oswego Alumni. Self-taught guitarist. I've been a Sabres and hockey fan since birth. I've also refereed youth hockey and play in a men’s league. My tombstone will be in the shape of pizza.
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