Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner had blocked 106 of the last 108 shots before getting the start for his team in Newark, New Jersey Monday Night. His team was coming off a 4-0 shutout victory over the Ottawa Senators Saturday night. Meanwhile, the Devils team had not found their game as of late. They entered play having lost 7 straight on their home ice. Each team being desperate for points in the standings in a log jam of an Eastern Conference playoff picture.
Entering this game Sabres coach, Dan Bylsma told the media to expect a low scoring game. His words proved prophetic. In spite of there being no goals whatsoever in the first period, it was not a quiet competition. Sabre Nicolas Deslauriers finally found himself in the scrum he’d been looking for the previous seven minutes. 4-on-4 hockey yielded no goals. As the period winded to a close, New Jersey maintained better offensive zone time.
The second period opened up and evened up. It looked as though the Sabres had the better of the passing while the Devils had the better of the skating. Only one goal would result, and it would be for the home team off Sabre Cody Franson’s skate for Adam Henrique on the Devils power play.
Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons was aggressive to wrap up the 2nd period having been rocked by a Michael Cammalleri hit. He returned the favor later. Hits would not break Devils goalie Corey Schneider, a Vezina Trophy finalist last season. Sabre Tyler Ennis would, however, score for Buffalo at 8:39 of the 3rd on an extremely tight angle shot. The tie would not stand however after Sabre Evander Kane took a penalty for high-sticking on Taylor Hall. The ensuing Devils power play saw Pavel Zacha score from in front.
In spite of another great showing by Robin Lehner, the Sabres suffered a 2-1 loss in regulation that hurts even more in the standings in a tight playoff race. The Buffalo Sabres will return home to Key Bank Center Tuesday night to host the defending Western Conference Champion San Jose Sharks.
Spin-o-rama & into the net. ? pic.twitter.com/Q6HkBmkwnd
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) February 7, 2017