Four Buffalo Sabres Score First NHL Goals in 2014


The 2014 calendar year was a big one for some members of the Buffalo Sabres organization. Between March 16 and December 21, seven players made their NHL debuts with the Buffalo Sabres. Four players scored their first NHL goals in 2014 with the Buffalo Sabres as well.

Most recently, it was forward Tim Schaller, who scored his first NHL goal on December 21 against the Boston Bruins.

Schaller was with the Buffalo Sabres on his third recall of the season from the AHL’s Rochester Americans. He made his NHL debut a few weeks earlier, suiting up against the Montreal Canadiens on November 29, and scored his first NHL goal in Boston that fateful night in December, with his parents in attendance.

Schaller, 24, was born in Merrimack, New Hampshire, roughly an hour’s drive from Boston. He has since been returned to the AHL, but certainly enjoyed his time in the NHL and could be called upon again if injury or other incident forces the Buffalo Sabres to pull from the AHL.

Just one day prior to Schaller’s goal, another Buffalo Sabres forward notched his first NHL goal as well.

Johan Larsson will certainly never forget December 20, 2014. He was a late call-up to the Buffalo Sabres due to illness on the NHL squad, making the drive down I-90 just in time for the game. He missed warm-ups but was able to get ready in time for puck drop, and hey — it worked.

Larsson, 22, made his NHL debut in the 2012-2013 season with the Minnesota Wild. He also played 28 games with the Buffalo Sabres last season, but it was that evening in Buffalo this past December where he notched his first NHL goal against the Colorado Avalanche.

Rewind several more months back to April 2014 and you’ll find the next member of the Buffalo Sabres organization to notch his first in the NHL: Nicolas Deslauriers.

Deslauriers made his NHL debut on March 7 and scored his first NHL goal just shy of a month later, on April 4 against the Detroit Red Wings. That was the 23-year-old’s first NHL point.

Throw it back even further to last January. Philip Varone was the first Buffalo Sabres player to score his first NHL goal in 2014, in his first-ever NHL call-up.

Varone, 24, made his NHL debut on January 23, 2014 against the Carolina Hurricanes. He notched his first NHL point that evening, an assist on a goal by Brian Flynn, but it wasn’t until his fourth game that he tallied his first-ever NHL goal with the Buffalo Sabres.

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In addition to those four players, several others made their NHL debuts with the Buffalo Sabres in the 2014 calendar year.

Most recently, 2011 first-round draft pick Joel Armia made his NHL debut on December 23, 2014 against the Detroit Red Wings.

Also this season, first-round pick Sam Reinhart made his NHL debut just a few months after being drafted, suiting up against the Columbus Blue Jackets on October 9.

Defenseman Jake McCabe made his NHL debut on April 3 against the St. Louis Blues, just one day after signing with the Buffalo Sabres, who previously drafted him in 2012.

Finally, goaltender Nathan Lieuwen made his NHL debut, stepping in to relieve an injured Jhonas Enroth on March 16 against the Montreal Canadiens.

Andrey Makarov also received his first NHL call-up from the Buffalo Sabres in April, but did not actually play in an NHL game.

How many players will make their NHL debuts – and score their first NHL goals – for the Buffalo Sabres in 2015? There’s only one way to find out….. keep watching.