Overreactions with 46 to go: Sabres storm back in 3rd to beat Isles

460861224_slideFor most of Saturday night’s game, the result looked inevitable. For the final 13:21 of regulation, it became nothing but a bunch of questions.

Three Sabres goals in a span of 5:12 during the third period brought Buffalo back from a 3-0 deficit before Tyler Ennis scored the shootout winner in a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Islanders.

Nick Deslauriers, Zemgus Girgensons and Chris Stewart all tallied goals in the explosive comeback, with Islanders call-up Kevin Poulin, in his second start in back-to-back nights, getting shredded to force overtime.

New York had opened up a 3-0 lead thanks to an early goal by Nick Leddy and two goals from nephew-of-Buffalo-legend John Tavares. They carried that lead into the third period where it all fell apart.

Deslauriers opened the scoring by ripping a rebound past Poulin at 6:39. After Drew Stafford took a dubious goaltender interference penalty, Deslauriers rifled a pass from inside his own blueline to a streaking Girgensons, who made it 3-2 with his second shorthanded goal.

“We always believed, but we got lucky,” Deslauriers said. “The puck just popped out at me. I took a shot and it went in. From there, we built momentum and Girgensons buried a nice goal.”

Less than two minutes later, the lead was officially gone, as Stafford fed Stewart, who cut in front of Poulin and tucked it home to tie the game.

Ennis scored the only goal of the shootout, and Jhonas Enroth stopped all three Islanders attempts after making 33 saves in 65 minutes of play.

Buffalo now heads to Ottawa for a game with the Senators on Monday night.

  • The Sabres lost defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen during the game, as he apparently caught the bug that has been sidelining guys for the last couple weeks. Nolan said after the game there would be a recall coming. (UPDATE: Sabres have recalled Mark Pysyk from Rochester)
  • I don’t see the benefit of having Johan Larsson playing 9:23 on the wing with Cody McCormick and Patrick Kaleta rather than 18-20 in all situations with the Americans. This team isn’t very good. Pick up a plug off waivers or call up Matt Ellis, let Larsson keep developing with more minutes.
  • Maybe the best game of Nick Deslauriers’ NHL career? He’s found a bit of a streak here, with two goals and two assists during a three game point streak. Good to see him coming around and showing some confidence.
  • Mike Weber on the first Tavares goal was hilarious. Might as well have painted him orange and called him a road cone.
  • That’s definitely the loudest that arena has been all year. It used to be like that more often. And it should be like that more often. It’s not about just winning. Lots of that had to do with the fact it was an out-of-town holiday crowd. The games around Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s are usually like that. Just wish they did a better job of cultivating that on a regular basis.
  • Team high in ice time? Nikita Zadorov, 26:26 TOI. That, I really like to see.
  • Chris Stewart has a four game point streak (two goals, two assists) and points in five of six. Nice to see him jack up that trade value.


3MI Three Star Selections
1. Nick Deslauriers, Buffalo
2. John Tavares, NY Islanders
3. Zemgus Girgensons, Buffalo

Official Three Stars of the Game
1. Zemgus Girgensons, Buffalo (SH Goal (10))
2. Nick Deslauriers (Goal (4), assist)
3. Jhonas Enroth, Buffalo (33 saves, 3 GA)

Quote of the night:

“It just goes to show you the type of character we have in this room and a no quit attitude.”

— Buffalo Sabres forward Drew Stafford

Posted on December 28, 2014, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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