In true David and Goliath form, Drew Stafford scored the game-winning goal at the 14:19 mark of the third to down the Atlantic Division leader, the Boston Bruins, 4-2 for the Sabres second consecutive win.
Ten Sabres picked up a point in tonights game, earning consecutive wins for the first time since November 15th.
Ryan Miller was in net tonight, facing the Bruins’ Chad Johnson.
Buffalo went right to work, going hard for the start of the game, making plays, taking shots, and playing to the same caliber that earned them the win against Winnipeg only a few days ago.
Buffalo’s one true scrapper, John Scott, was scratched for tonights game, but that didn’t stop the teams from dropping the gloves early on.
With a little over three minutes gone, Marcus Foligno threw down with Matt Fraser, winning the decision.
Both teams traded a few shots, but it was Brian Flynn who lit the light first.
With two penalties against Mike Weber, one of which was served by Matt D’Agostini and one against Milan Lucic. Buffalo found themselves down a man in a 4-on-3. That didn’t stop Flynn.
Blocking a clear by Carl Soderberg, Christian Ehrhoff tipped the puck over to Alexander Sulzer who chipped the puck around the boards. Johnny Boychuk, trying to keep the puck in the zone, missed the play and Flynn blew past and pick up the puck on the breakaway. With two defense trailing, Flynn lifted a backhander over the left shoulder of Johnson, scoring Buffalo’s first shorthanded goal this season.
At the end of the first, Buffalo found themselves leading the Bruins, 1-0. The lead in shots was held by Boston with a score of 7-6.
Flynn’s goal was the seventh time in 35 games that Buffalo scored first.
Boston started the second period quickly, despite a tripping penalty to Milan Lucic only 50 seconds into the second.
Boston scored a shorthanded goal of their own, with Brad Marchand writing a low shot on Miller’s glove side to tie the game at 1.
Buffalo’s troubles got a bit tougher a little over a minute later, when Marchand scored his second of the game with a slapshot from the top of the faceoff circle to the left of Miller.
Buffalo would not escape the period trailing.
With the clock counting down, Buffalo turned on the pressure and was able to break through courtesy of Marcus Foligno.
On a 4-on-2 rush, Jamie McBain and Matt D’Agostini played a little give and go that McBain finally slapped towards Johnson. With Brian Flynn and Marcus Foligno scrapping in front of the net, Foligno finally tapped the puck into the net.
At the end of two, the teams were locked at 2. Shots were in favor of Boston once again, 14-12.
Refusing to give Boston any sort of break, Buffalo continued to press.
Enter, Drew Stafford.
Entering a rush, Stafford received a pass from Ville Leino and entered the Bruin zone. With all engines running and the pistons firing, Stafford exploded through the defense, ripped around the net, and threw the puck past a sprawling Johnson to notch the game-winner with 5:41 remaining in the third. The goal was Stafford’s third of the year, and first in 18 games (November 5th vs San Jose). Steve Ott was also credited with an assist on the Stafford goal.
Buffalo put the nail in the coffin only a minute and 20 later, when Tyler Myers ripped a wrister past Johnson. Joining a 2-on-1 rush with Flynn and Foligno, Myers received a pass from Flynn and shot the puck blocker side to score Buffalo’s fourth goal, the second straight time they’ve scored four goals in a game.
At the end of the game, fans gave the Sabres a standing ovation in the 4-2 win. The teams finished in shots with Boston firing off 36 to Buffalo’s 23.
Buffalo did lose a player in the process, with Cody Hodgson leaving in the first period after blocking a slapshot by Torey Krug off of his wrist with 5:44 left in the first period.
By the numbers, it was the second straight game with four goals, the fourth time in five games that the Sabres have gained a point in a game, and have earned points in 7 of the past 10 games.
Buffalo seems to be getting it together as of late, what do you think of the sudden resurgence of Buffalo? Comment below, hit us up on Twitter/Facebook, or email us at [email protected]!
Buffalo takes to the road, as they complete this home and home with Boston on Saturday night, 7PM! Until then, keep coming back to SabreNoise.com for all your Sabres needs.