Sabres hold on for 3-2 win


On a day when many Buffalo fans may have been more eager about the Bills playoff game, the Sabres put together a great performance on “90’s day.”

The Sabres came out with a spark of energy after a great opening ceremony and ended up with a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday afternoon at KeyBank Center.

It seemed like the Sabres were able to build off the momentum from Thursday’s overtime win against Edmonton.

The Sabres were being outshot, 20-13, through two periods, but they held a three-goal lead. But they sat on it in the third period. It almost backfired completely.

Florida was the better team in the final period, and they just failed to tie it up in the final seconds.

15:43Nicklas Backstrom (1)Alex Ovechkin (1)T.J. Oshie (1)
18:48PPGTaylor Hall (1)Victor Olofsson (1)Jack Eichel (1)
110:33PPGT.J. Oshie (1)Alex Ovechkin (2)John Carlson (1)
27:05John Carlson (1)T.J. Oshie (2)Nicklas Backstrom (1)
213:23Brenden Dillon (1)Conor Sheary (1)Lars Eller (1)
218:46Tobias Rieder (1)Dylan Cozens (1)Jake McCabe (1)
30:20Jake McCabe (1)Jack Eichel (2)Tage Thompson (1)
30:46Jakub Vrana (1)------
318:06Victor Olofsson (1)Taylor Hall (1)Sam Reinhart (1)
318:57ENGarnet Hathaway (1)Nick Jensen (1)---

Evengii Dadonov narrowed Buffalo’s lead to one with 1:10 remaining in the third.

The Panthers got themselves back into the game with a goal midway through the third from Mike Matheson. Buffalo found themselves playing in their own zone more often than not in the third period, but they managed to hang on for the win.

Henri Jokiharju opened the scoring with this great play, set up by Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel:

Conor Sheary and Sam Reinhart scored the other Buffalo goals.

Sheary played one of his best games as a Sabre and had numerous scoring chances throughout.

After the third Buffalo goal, Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled from the game after stopping just four of seven shots. Chris Dredger came on in relief and stopped all 11 shots he faced, helping Florida turn the game around.

At the other end, Linus Ullmark was strong in goal, including making a great save on a short-handed breakaway. He stopped 27 of 29 shots for the win and has been the better goaltender of late.

“With a couple of days off, it’s really important to keep that good feeling going.” – Reinhart

After four consecutive regulation losses, the Sabres have put together back-to-back wins. Up next, the Sabres head to take on the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the St. Louis Blues. That game isn’t until Thursday, so the Sabres have some time to prepare for that one.

Kevin Freiheit
Kevin Freiheit
I founded Buffalo Hockey Central in 2008 and have poured hours and hours into this site. Luckily, we have a great team of writers and designers who have helped keep this up and running despite a ton of out-of-pocket costs. We do this because we enjoy it, and we're desperate to see the Sabres win the Cup someday, but they have to make the playoffs first.
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