The Buffalo Sabres pulled out a gutsy performance to down the Ottawa Senators tonight, scoring three goals and holding off the Sens’ late rally for a 3-2 win. The victory extends the Sabres’ unbeaten streak to four games.
Benoit Pouliot, Kyle Okposo and Evander Kane scored while Robin Lehner had an overall strong performance. His only blunder was a woeful goal from Cody Ceci during which he looked like a dog chasing its tail. The goaltender’s last four games for the large part have been very good, which is quite handy if the trade rumors surrounding him are true.
Rasmus Ristolainen and Marco Scandella each had solid nights offensively with two and one assists respectively, but looked woeful on the other side of the puck and were responsible for Ottawa’s second goal. Both defenders allowed a Senators forward to get behind them and gave Derek Brassard an easy screen to make it a one goal game with 52 seconds remaining. Buffalo hammered down though and left with their eighth win of the season.
Ristolainen has had a rough year. I know he’s been injured and has little help at times, but he needs to step it up. Scandella has been an immense disappointment and needs to prove his worth if he doesn’t want to get Moulson’d.
Benoit Pouliot’s goal was a thing of beauty, as he pretty much deked out every Senator on the ice and buried a backhand past G Mike Condon for his eighth of the season. Considering he was expected to primarily be a fourth-liner and penalty killer, Pouliot is proving to be a steal of a signing. Kyle Okposo scored his fifth of the year off a nice set up from Ryan O’Reilly as both continue to play better.
Also good for the team was Kane’s tally, giving him 14 on the season. The odds of EK9 still being a Sabre at season’s end are slim to none, and the more he scores the better as far as the return package Buffalo can get for him is concerned. Kane has shed his petulant behavior in Buffalo and has turned into a major fan favorite over the last season and a half. I personally am against trading him, but if he will be, Jason Botterill had better get one heck of a return, whether it be a first round pick or prospects.
Jack Eichel assisted on Kane’s goal for his 24th point of the year. The two just seem to click.
Things are looking up slowly. Buffalo has pieced some momentum together for the first time all season and will try to extend its point streak to five on Thursday in Philly.