Buffalo had not won a game since Feb. 23, while going 0-15-3 during an 18-game winless streak. The Sabres establish the NHL shootout-era record for the longest run without a win at 18 games. The shootout was added in 2005-06 to eliminate tie games and make sure each game ended up with a winner.
It also marked the first victory behind the bench for interim head coach Don Granato since he replaced Ralph Krueger on March 17. Granato hasn’t had the opportunity to coach Buffalo star Jack Eichel yet during his tenure because the forward is still sidelined due to injury. The team hopes to get him back before the end of the 2020-21 campaign.
The other big story of the night was the late postponement of Vancouver’s game against Calgary because of COVID-19 protocols. The decision was made because two Canucks players and a member of the team’s coaching staff were put into COVID protocol. Adam Gaudette was listed as a COVID protocol-related absence on Tuesday and coach Travis Green said it was because of a positive test result.
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PHILADELPHIA 1 BUFFALO 6
The Sabres finally ended an 18-game winless drought on Wednesday night.
Sam Reinhart and Curtis Lazar gave Buffalo a 2-0 lead after the first period.
Ivan Provorov got the Flyers on the board at the 3:50 mark of the second stanza.
Steven Fogarty registered one goal and one assist to give the Sabres a two-goal lead entering the third period. He got his first marker of the season and his second helper on a goal by Casey Mittelstadt.
Brandon Montour got a pair of goals in the third frame, including an empty-netter, when the Sabres were killing a penalty.
Kyle Okposo, Rasmus Ristolainen and Jacob Bryson collected two assists each, while Sean Couturier, Jakub Voracek and Riley Sheahan picked up one helper apiece.
Ristolainen also provided a plus-4 rating, four shots, six hits and four blocks.
Brian Elliott was pulled after he allowed four goals on 16 shots in 35:29 of playing time. Alex Lyon stopped nine of 10 shots in relief.
Linus Ullmark blocked 31 of 32 shots for his first victory since Feb. 23, which was the last time the Sabres won a game. He was injured in the next contest and just made his return to the lineup this past Saturday.
TORONTO 3 WINNIPEG 1
The Leafs bounced back from Monday’s overtime loss to Edmonton with a victory over the Jets. The contest was Winnipeg’s first at home following a seven-game road trip.
Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and Zach Hyman notched two points each in the first period to give Toronto a 2-0 lead.
Matthews got his league-leading 24th goal of the season to open the scoring, while Hyman scored for the 12th time in 2020-21.
Marner had the secondary assist on both goals.
Alexander Kerfoot gave the Leafs a 3-0 lead with a shorthanded goal in the second stanza with assists going to Ilya Mikheyev and Morgan Rielly.
Josh Morrissey scored on the same power play for the Jets, which was a double minor for high-sticking, shortly afterward.
Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor assisted on Morrissey’s second goal of the year.
Scheifele and Hyman tied for the game-high with six shots on target.
Jack Campbell turned aside 26 shots for the victory, while Connor Hellebuyck shielded 23 of 26 shots in the loss.
Blake Wheeler left the game in the first period due to an injury and he did not return.
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ARIZONA 3 COLOADO 9
The Avalanche posted a second straight victory this week following a blowout win over the Coyotes.
Joonas Donskoi scored a hat trick in the first period and he added an assist in the third frame.
Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen posted three-point efforts. Landeskog registered two goals and one assist, while Rantanen had one goal and two helpers.
Andre Burakovsky potted a pair of goals in the contest.
Nathan MacKinnon and Samuel Girard notched two assists each, while Nick Schmaltz, Lawson Crouse, Alex Goligoski, Valeri Nichushkin, Tyson Jost, J.T. Compher, Nazem Kadri, Devon Toews, Ryan Graves and Jason MacDonald picked up one assist apiece.
Michael Bunting had one goal and one assist in his season debut for the Coyotes.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland also found the back of the net on Wednesday night.
Adin Hill got the hook after he allowed four goals on 10 shots in just 6:04 of work. Ivan Prosvetov blocked 23 of 28 shots in relief during his NHL debut.
Philipp Grubauer stopped 28 of 31 shots for his league-leading 22nd win of the season.
LOS ANGELES 4 VEGAS 2
The Kings snapped a three-game losing skid on Wednesday, while avenging Monday’s 4-1 loss to the Golden Knights in the process.
Andreas Athanasiou and Lias Andersson scored for Los Angeles in the first period. Athanasiou also added an assist in the contest.
William Karlsson got Vegas on the board at the 9:41 mark of the second stanza.
Jared Anderson-Dolan’s fourth goal of the year and Alex Iafallo’s ninth gave the Kings a 4-1 lead going into the intermission.
Vegas got a power-play goal from Shea Theodore in the third frame with assists going to Alex Tuch and Keegan Kolesar. Theodore also posted a helper in the loss.
Anze Kopitar, Sean Walker, Tobias Bjornfot, Mikey Anderson and Jonathan Marchessault also had one assist each.
Alex Pietrangelo was credited with a game-high seven shots in his return to the lineup from an upper-body injury.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 of 30 shots in the defeat, while Cal Petersen defended 40 of 42 shots in the victory.
MINNESOTA 2 SAN JOSE 4
The Sharks completed a two-game series sweep of the Wild on Wednesday night following Monday’s 4-3 shootout victory.
Rudolfs Balcers and Ryan Donato (power play) scored in the first period to provide the Sharks with a 2-0 lead.
Kirill Kaprizov cut Minnesota’s deficit to 2-1 with his 12th goal of the year. He currently has the goal-scoring lead among rookies.
Nikolai Knyzhov got his first NHL goal shortly later to restore San Jose’s two-goal advantage.
Mats Zuccarello scored in the final minute of the third period, but it was too little too late.
Evander Kane scored an empty-netter just before the horn sounded to round out the scoring.
Tomas Hertl and Brent Burns contributed two helpers each, while Kevin Fiala, Ryan Hartman, Carson Soucy, Jared Spurgeon, Logan Couture, Mario Ferraro and Erik Karlsson supplied one assist apiece.
Ferraro also had a game-high seven hits and he added three blocks.
Kaapo Kahkonen blocked 29 of 32 shots in the loss, while Martin Jones turned aside 26 shots for the win.
Published: 2021-04-01 07:02:17
Tags: #Sabres #finally #win #column