- Sabres start out with O’reilly, Okposo and Carrier, who makes his return to the lineup after missing a few games with an illness.
- The Sabres took the ice after another EA Sports vintage NHL montage. This one obviously featured the Flyers as the opponent and was as good as the Jets one on Saturday. Whoever put that together should get an award.
- Deslauriers wins a nice fight. He got in a couple nice rights and a good left and knocked the other guy down.
- Braden Schenn hooking penalty on Bailey. How did Mason make that save?? Wow.
- Sam Reinhart scores on the power play! He was in great position down low by the side of the net. He stopped it with his left skate and then banged the puck into the far side netting, 1-0 Sabres.
- Will Carrier roofs the rebound to put Buffalo up 2-0!
- Eichel and Reinhart, on the same line again tonight, are generating a lot of chances. Bylsma has to be pleased with the way they are working together. He mentioned this morning that he might shuffle the lines again tonight to get those two onto the ice together.
- Big time hold on Eich by Del Zotto, Sabres power play coming up w 4:47 left in the second.
- Anders Nilsson with a big save at the 2 minute mark. He flashed the big left pad for the kick save.
- Evander Kane scores w 7 seconds left in the period for his 10th goal of the season. He has definitely turned it on since he got supported publicly by this blog. He knows we’ve got his back!
The third period was pretty uneventful. The Sabres played a defensive trap and had good defensive positioning to avoid giving up odd man chances and Nilsson, tonight’s #1 star, didn’t give up any bad rebounds. He stood tall and was never out of position tonight. The shutout was lost late in the third when the Sabres got a penalty and Philly pulled their goalie for a 6 on 4 advantage. The penalty was a hooking call on Jake McCabe which he took on a bad change by O’Reilly. Braden Schenn got the goal. The Flyers won the ensuing faceoff and pulled Mason again, but this time it was 6 on 5 and Marcus Foligno found the empty net w under 10 seconds to play.
Tonight was a dominant performance from the beginning. They played smart defensively and tough for 60 minutes and came out with a 4-1 win over a team they are chasing in the standings. The Eichel and Reinhart pairing, the O’reilly and Okposo line and the power play all clicked tonight and there’s no reason why they cannot continue to click the rest of the way. Will Carrier also had a strong game and his speed helps to open the ice for O’reilly and Okposo. I like our two scoring lines a lot right now. Nilsson was everywhere he needed to be and I will repeat, I think we play a stronger, more complete game when he’s in the net.
Sabres win 4-1. Big win.