It wouldn’t be Buffalo Sabres hockey without a big scare defensively, but the Blue and Gold scored enough to beat the Ottawa Senators.
What a first couple of frames for the Buffalo Sabres in what was a huge win against the Ottawa Senators. First, Alex Tuch hit Jeff Skinner on an incredible assist, allowing the struggling winger to snag his second point of the year while the latter scored his fourth goal.
Later in the first, Zemgus Girgensons took credit for a tip-in, making the score 2-0 Sabres, before Skinner scored his second of the night at the 4:04 mark of the second frame. Jakob Chychrun got one past Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to put the Sens on the board at the 13:14 mark of the second to bring the Sens within two, but four minutes later, Tuch deflected one in off of a shot from Owen Power, giving the Sabres a 4-1 lead.
But the Blue and Gold weren’t done yet, as Tage Thompson scored his second of the season with helpers from Owen Power and Henri Jokiharju. This gave Buffalo a 5-1 lead heading into the third frame, and a chance to put the Senators away.
Buffalo Sabres found the net, but the defense broke down late
Throughout the first 15 minutes of the third period, the Sabres looked to be in control, staying engaged defensively. Then with five minutes to go, they broke down, allowing three goals in a three-and-a-half minute span, letting the Sens to creep back into the game they had no business mounting a comeback in.
Even more unfortunate for the Buffalo Sabres was the fact that Ottawa was also on the power play, and suddenly, overtime looked like a possibility. But Tage found the puck once more and sent it down the ice, icing the game for the Blue and Gold, and giving them a much-needed win to improve their record to 3-4-0.
Overall, it was a great game for the Sabres until the final four-and-a-half minutes, which tells us they need to do a better job at closing games out. But still, a win is a win, and now, it’s on to New Jersey this Friday.
(Statistics provided by ESPN.com)