A winless streak? What is this winless streak you speak of. After a strong evening keeping the Pittsburgh Penguins relatively under wraps offensively, the Buffalo Sabres were able to win a tight 2-1 game on the back of a Cal O’Reilly shootout goal.
Buffalo would shockingly open scoring this evening, against one of the league’s top-ten scoring teams in this young season.
Even more surprising for Sabres fans would be the player who ended up putting past Marc-Andre Fleury.
An innocent shot on goal from the point by Taylor Fedun made a bee-line for Fleury, but William Carrier would plant himself in front of the net and found himself looking for the puck.
As the puck approached Carrier, he was able to tip and redirect the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury. This not only went in the books as Carrier’s first career NHL goal but his first career NHL point as well.
Carrier’s first goal of the season, at 8:16 of the first, gave the Buffalo Sabres a 1-0 lead.
Buffalo would find themselves forcing Pittsburgh to play Sabres hockey throughout the remainder of the first and throughout most of the second.
What is “playing Sabres hockey”? It is boring, dull and pointless but it worked tonight.
One moment to speak about from the second period is when Marcus Foligno was cross-checked in his hips and ended up going face first into the boards.
A very ugly play, but Foligno did return and did finish the game.
For being one of the aforementioned best goals-scored-per-game teams in the league, it took a stupid Sabres penalty to give Pittsburgh a golden offensive opportunity.
Cody Franson found himself headed to the box for an aimless interference penalty and it shockingly only took the Penguins 9 seconds to make Buffalo pay.
Evgeni Malkin was trying to stuff the puck home, right at the goal mouth, when a trailing Chris Kunitz saw a loose puck. Instead of continuing what Malkin started, Kunitz passed the puck to a wide open Sidney Crosby. If you know anything about Crosby, you know he didn’t miss.
Crosby’s 12th goal of the season, at 5:46 of the third period, tied the game up at 1-1.
As the third progressed, Buffalo seemed to be overwhelmed by Pittsburgh’s increased offensive pressure but they were able to hang on for at least one point.
This game would head to overtime and there is no better way to explain how overtime went – it was indeed lit, folks. Chance after chance on both ends. It has been quite some time since we have seen such an exciting overtime involving the Buffalo Sabres.
After the intensely exciting overtime, this game would finish up in a shootout, where there would be one goal on six combined shots.
RJ's call on Cal's shootout winner. pic.twitter.com/vn0K4lgZ5f
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) November 20, 2016
Cal O’Reilly moves to 6-for-13 in his NHL career in shootouts, a 46.2% percentage, including three game-winning goals. Thanks to the Sabres PR department for that fantastic stat.
With this 2-1 victory, the Buffalo Sabres move to 6-8-4 with 16 points in 18 games. This victory puts Buffalo in a tie for 14th place with the Carolina Hurricanes, and snaps the Sabres 6 game winless streak.
The Buffalo Sabres take the ice next on Monday night against the Calgary Flames. Both teams face off at the KeyBank Center, with puck dropping shortly after 7 PM. As per usual, the game will be televised locally on MSG.
Scroll down for the quickest of hits!
- Wheels on the Bus..
Another day, another recall from the Rochester Americans.
The injury situation, coupled with the offensive ineffectiveness has set the wheels from Rochester to Buffalo to Rochester back to Buffalo again in motion.
Before tonight’s game, the Buffalo Sabres recalled forwards Cal O’Reilly and Cole Schneider as potential offensive reinforcements.
Looking back on those recalls, the O’Reilly one worked pretty well. Game-winning shootout goal in his first game of the 2016-17 season.
If O’Reilly keeps that up, he might just be able to stick around.
- Nilsson’s p good, eh?
Anders Nilsson’s torrid start to the season continues. 46 saves tonight for Nilsson. My goodness, man.
Nilsson was coming up big time, after time, only giving up one goal. Allowing a goal to Sidney Crosby on the power play is excusable tonight.
Let’s fast forward to overtime. Who was there, standing on their head? Anders Nilsson.
HUGE save by Nilsson!
We play on. pic.twitter.com/nnD6KvOU18
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) November 20, 2016
As the sample size continues to grow, maybe just maybe Nilsson should see a few more opportunities.
In his last three games, Nilsson is 2-0-1 with a .976 save percentage and a 0.97 goals-against average. https://t.co/QKSHv49NlZ
— Sabres PR (@SabresPR) November 20, 2016
Nilsson also seems to support LGBTQ community, which is amazing.
Caught this on the back of Nilsson's mask pic.twitter.com/ufPJMMNaLK
— Chris Ostrander (@2ITB_Buffalo) November 20, 2016
- Injury Update
Our good friend John Vogl over at the Buffalo News provided a solid injury update before tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Vogl confirmed the injury to Ryan O’Reilly is an oblique injury, which still has him labeled as “day-to-day”. No news appears to good news in that department though. While O’Reilly has not gotten back on the ice, he has been participating in off-ice workouts.
As for Dmitry Kulikov, the update was a little larger and a little more troublesome.
“I don’t know if we’ve clarified exactly what’s going on with him other than he flared up his lower back with the hit into the boards,” Bylsma said to collected media members. “Hoping he would progress a little quicker back to playing and getting back on the ice than he has, but he’s in a day-to-day, few-days timeframe.”
As that freak back injury continues to sting, one can’t help but wonder if that will linger for a very long time.
- First of many.
Enjoy it, William Carrier. You’ll never again have a first career NHL goal.
- Tweet of Game
— OneBuffaloNetminder (@Netminder97) November 20, 2016