Last night, the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 in the first of a two-game road trip. There were a few Sabres players who stood out in last night’s win – let’s take a look.
My “three stars” of last night’s win over the Phoenix Coyotes are:
3. Steve Ott - The Sabres captain scored the tying goal for the Sabres in the second period. Ott’s goal came on the power play after Phoenix’s Paul Bissonnette took a holding penalty. Ott had three shots, one hit and two blocked shots last night. He went fifty percent in the faceoff circle (4-4) and played over twenty minutes of ice time. His lone penalty of the game came in the third period for roughing; it was on this penalty that the Sabres would score shorthanded to take the lead.
2. Matt Moulson - Although Moulson didn’t score last night, he did assist on Tyler Ennis‘ game-opening goal, for his 18th assist of the season. In addition, he had four shots – tied with Chad Ruhwedel and Zemgus Girgensons for the team lead. He also had three hits, one blocked shot and one missed shot. Moulson played just over 16 minutes of ice time, which was on the higher end for Sabres forwards last night.
1. Zemgus Girgensons - There’s a couple reasons why I’m awarding last night’s first star to Girgensons. First, he scored a shorthanded goal to give the Sabres the lead – and eventually, the win. The goal came unassisted at the 1:52 mark of the second period and was his fifth goal of the season. That alone would be enough to merit a first-star performance, but Girgensons also contributed in other ways. He had a secondary assist on Tyler Ennis’ goal. He had a team-high (tied) four shots on goal. He had five hits, second only to Marcus Foligno‘s six. Girgensons also had one takeaway and one blocked shot. In 17:15 ice time, he had an overall complete game and and really showed up to last night’s game against Phoenix.
An honorary star for last night’s Sabres game goes to – of course – Ryan Miller. Miller had 38 saves, including 19 in the first period alone. Thankfully, things tapered off after that and the Coyotes managed only 10 shots in the second and nine in the third…. if they hadn’t, we could have easily seen another Ben Scrivens-like performance. (In case you missed it, Scrivens had a 59-save shutout the other night against the San Jose Sharks.)