Buffalo Sabres Finally Win An Afternoon Home Game
It took them nine tries to do it, but the Buffalo Sabres finally won an afternoon game on home ice. And they did it the way other teams often beat them.
Nick Baptiste scored a pair of goals, only his third and fourth of the season, but they were big ones. Baptiste scored the tying goal in the third period then scored another one that turned out to be the game winner in a 5-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Sam Reinhart scored into an empty net in the final minute to seal the victory. Benoit Pouliot and Ryan O'Reilly had the other Buffalo goals.
The game was tied 2-2 when the Blackhawks scored to take the lead just 20 seconds into the third period and it looked like another typical afternoon loss. Baptise answered for the Sabres less than two minutes later to tie it again, then with under two minutes left to play Baptiste deflected a shot by Marco Scandella just as a Buffalo power play expired and the Sabres held on until Reinhart clinched it.
The win ended a stretch of 12 straight losses to the Blackhawks. Last time they beat the Hawks was in December, 2009.
Despite the win the Sabres were officially eliminated from contention in the Stanley Cup playoffs when New Jersey beat the Los Angeles Kings, but we've known they didn't have much of a chance of making the playoffs since about Thanksgiving. That makes seven straight seasons now the Sabres have missed the playoffs.
The Sabres homestand continues Monday night against the Nashville Predators.