The Buffalo Sabres held on in an entertaining game to defeat the New Jersey Devils and while they gave the Devils one point, it is still a difficult task for them to stay in the playoff race. The Buffalo Sabres finally get the chance to play spoiler, and they do it about fifty percent of the way tonight.
Buffalo Sabres Third Star – Drew Stafford
I thought about going Ville Leino here, but Leino is paid way too much to be a shootout specialist, and I again like what I saw out of Drew Stafford. He skated, he stuck up for teammates, and he put a goal in during the shootout to keep things alive when needed.
There were a lot of guys who had single moments in the game that could qualify them for the third star – but again Drew Stafford is showcasing what he can do for a team in need of leadership and effort.
It would not surprise me to see Drew Stafford wearing the captain “c” next season.
Buffalo Sabres Second Star – Tyler Ennis
Tyler Ennis gets two goals. He will likely be the only member of the Buffalo Sabres to hit twenty goals this year. His two goals were number 20 and 21. A bright spot on the season as Tyler Ennis’ twenty-first goal sets a career high for him in the NHL. He scored 20 in the 2010-2011 season.
Buffalo Sabres First Star – Nathan Lieuwen
Even in a losing effort he would have gotten this honor – as the New Jersey Devils owned the puck possession game and he had to continue the trend of Buffalo Sabres goaltenders who kept their team in the game this year. It doesn’t help that the kid is now on cloud nine for winning his first game in the National Hockey League.
Even his “welcome to the NHL moment” when he got scored on by Jaromir Jagr, a guy who was drafted and entered the league in 1990 – the year before Nathan Lieuwen was born.