Uncharacteristic Solid Win For The Buffalo Sabres
In a matter of less than 48 hours the Buffalo Sabres went from their worst game of the season to one of their best. All of the things they didn't do against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday in an embarrassing loss they did do against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday in a 3-1 win.
The Sabres played with desperation at both ends of the ice especially in the first period - something that's been sorely lacking in their game all season. They scored the first goal of the game as a result of hard work then got a break on their second, something they haven't received a whole lot of this season.
Benoit Pouliot scored the opening goal after the Sabres attacked the net with Kyle Okposo and Jack Eichel getting the assists. Then they made it 2-0 when Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovski and defenseman Seth Jones both misplayed the puck to the side of the net and allowed Okposo to swoop in and deposit the puck into an empty net for what turned out to be the winning goal.
But most importantly the Sabres got great goaltending, something that has been highly suspect this season. Linus Ullmark stopped 44 of 45 shots in his first game with the Sabres this season after being called up from Rochester. He played with confidence and concentration and it certainly helped that he had a team in front of him playing with what coach Phil Housley said he wanted more of - urgency.
It'll be interesting to see if they can match the effort in the games and in the weeks to come. But we won't find out for another week because the Sabres are off on a mandatory 5-day break. Their next game is next Thursday in Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers.