Buffalo Sabres: Devon Levi caps off a masterful performance in homecoming win

The Buffalo Sabres entered the new year with a blowout win thanks to a plethora of big saves from Devon Levi in what was a homecoming win for the rookie.

Buffalo Sabres v Boston Bruins
Buffalo Sabres v Boston Bruins / Winslow Townson/GettyImages
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Devon Levi has been about as up and down this season as the rest of the Buffalo Sabres, but he needed a big performance tonight for a few reasons. Not only was he looking to avenge that shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens earlier in the season, but he also needed a bounce back game after allowing eight goals in his previous two contests. 

And to say Levi came through was an understatement, as the 22-year-old saved everything except for a shorthanded goal. But you couldn’t blame Levi for that one, as the Sabres All-Star rep, Rasmus Dahlin, coughed up the puck, which allowed Joel Armia to score the lone goal for Montreal. 

Overall, Levi finished the game saving all 22 shots on goal at even strength, and an additional 10 when the Canadiens were on the power play. This gave him 32 saves on 33 shots, good for a 0.970 save percentage. And in case you’re wondering, the answer is yes, this was Levi’s best performance of the season so far. 

Devon Levi and the Buffalo Sabres needed a bounce back effort

Heading into tonight’s game, the Sabres were stagnant as ever, falling to the Ottawa Senators four days ago in an embarrassing effort. Levi finished that game with 26 saves on 30 shots, and his numbers tanked to a meager 3.36 GAA and an 0.888 save percentage on the season. 

Likewise, the Buffalo Sabres needed a huge night offensively, as their 111 goals this year ranked just 19th in the league, well below what they were playing at last season. But with Jack Quinn showing us once more he’s more than ready to make a huge improvement from his rookie year and Tage Thompson continuing to find his rhythm, perhaps the rest of the team will follow suit. 

The Sabres will let us know if that will be the case this Saturday when they play the Pittsburgh Penguins. If they can score a win against a team that has given them quite a few problems, then maybe they’ll give us more to cheer about in the new year. 

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(Statistics provided by NHL.com and Hockey-Reference)