Tonight’s Starting Goaltending Matchup:
Buffalo: Matt Hackett 1-0-0 1.51 GAA .958 SV% 0 SO
Nashville: Pekka Rinne 7-9-2 2.66 GAA .907 SV% 1 SO
Last Meeting: March 11 @ Buffalo-Sabres Lost 4-1
Season Series: Predators Lead 1-0-0
All-Time: Predators Lead 8-6-2
All-Time at NSH: Sabres Lead 6-2-0
Buffalo: Stewart High Ankle Sprain(Out), Sulzer Upper Body(Out), Girgensons Lower Body(Out), Enroth Lower Body(Out), Neuvirth Lower Body(Out), Myers Bruised Elbow(Questionable), Mitchell Undisclosed(Out), Konopka Back Spasms(Questionable)
Nashville: Jones Concussion-Like Symptoms(Out), Gaustad Upper Body(Out), Eaves Lower Body(Out)
Next 5 Games:
March 29 vs Tampa Bay Lightning 7:00 PM(MSG HD)
April 1 vs New Jersey Devils 7:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)
April 3 at St. Louis Blues 8:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)
April 4 at Detroit Red Wings 7:30 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)
April 6 at Philadelphia Flyers 7:30 PM(NBCSN HD/TSN2 HD)
Tampa Bay: Carle(130), Gudas(105), Hedman(73), Brewer(68)
Tonight’s Starting Goaltending Matchup:
Buffalo: Jhonas Enroth 3-13-5 2.90 GAA .907 SV% 0 SO
Tampa Bay: Ben Bishop 29-11-4 2.07 GAA .931 SV% 4 SO
Last Meeting: October 26 Lightning Won 3-2
Season Series: Lightning Lead 2-0-0
All-Time: Sabres Lead 49-24-6
All-Time at TBL: Sabres Lead 26-11-3
March 29 vs Lightning 7:00 PM(MSG HD)
Last Game Recap:
Sabres Win Streak Haulted At 3 By Stars
Tyler Ennis returned to the Buffalo Sabres lineup Monday night and kept his hot hand on the burner while goaltender Jhonas Enroth did everything he could to keep Buffalo in the game.
However, Alex Chaisson of the Dallas Stars scored the game-winning on the power play with 9:35 remaining in the third period to give the Stars a 3-2 victory over the Sabres at American Airlines Center.
The Sabres had killed off four Star power plays in a row to that point, but Chaisson’s shot – the first on that fifth Dallas power play – came with 15 seconds remaining in the man advantage and found its way over the goal line.
Enroth made 36 saves in the game, including 13 on the penalty kill.
“The first couple periods, I didn’t think we were in that game at all,” Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. “If it wasn’t for Jhonas, I don’t think the score would’ve been as close as it was. But in the third period, we played a little bit better and then we took a bad penalty again. They capitalize and that was the difference.”
The Stars were called for only one penalty in the game to the Sabres’ six.
Buffalo came into the game on a season-high three-game winning streak, but were unable to make it four in a row.
“We didn’t skate as well as we did the previous games and took a lot of penalties,” defenseman Christian Ehrhoff said. “They got one in the end on the power play and it just wasn’t enough today.”
Ennis scored with 2:43 remaining in the first period to open the scoring and extend his point-streak to four games. When he scored again 3:23 into the third period to tie the game, 2-2, he recorded his ninth point (4+5) in his past eight games. Ennis had missed the team’s past two games with general body soreness.
For Ennis’ first goal, Stafford fed a saucer pass over to Ennis from the left wing and with the assist, Stafford now has 12 points (6+6) in his past 11 games.
New-look Lightning get Stamkos back to face Sabres
Last 10: Buffalo 4-5-1; Tampa Bay 3-7-0
Big story:Steven Stamkos returns and a new chapter in the history of the Lightning begins Thursday after Martin St. Louis was traded to the New York Rangers on Wednesday for Ryan Callahan in a swap of team captains.
Sabres: Twenty-one games remain for Buffalo to audition young talent for next season. The Sabres followed up the huge trade with the St. Louis Blues last week that saw goalie Ryan Miller and forward Steve Ott moved by also parting ways with the goalie they got back in that trade, Jaroslav Halak, as well as forwards Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick and defenseman Brayden McNabb prior to the NHL Trade Deadline passing on Wednesday.
Michal Neuvirth, acquired from the Washington Capitals for Halak, joins Jhonas Enroth as the new goalie tandem. Each is 25 years old. Veteran forward Torrey Mitchell comes over from the Minnesota Wild in the package for Moulson and McCormick. Forward Hudson Fasching, seen by general manager Tim Murray as a top-six prospect, was part of the McNabb trade. The Sabres also added forward Cory Conacher off waivers from the Ottawa Senators.
“We were focused today,” general manager Tim Murray said, “and on Draft Day, if players are available, we can be aggressive, and if not we can keep adding young talent.”
Lightning: This is the start of a six-game homestand for Tampa Bay, giving the fans plenty of opportunity to get used to seeing Stamkos zip around the ice again and come to terms with the absence of St. Louis, who joined the organization for the 2000-01 season, was part of a Stanley Cup team in 2004 and six times reached at least 30 goals and 80 points.
“I’m going to utilize all the skills Marty has taught me over the years,” Stamkos said in the Tampa Bay Times. “He’s taught me a lot of things and he’s taught a lot of guys a lot of things. We learn from that and get stronger as a team. That’s the only way we can get through this.”
Callahan, who has scored as many as 29 goals in a season, is an unrestricted free agent after this season. He was traded after being unable to reach an agreement with the Rangers on an extension, but general manager Steve Yzerman said he hopes to sign Callahan to a new contract.
“I’ve heard nothing but good things from players that have played there,” Callahan told TSN. “… They’re in the playoff hunt too, which is big. I’m excited to get down there to Tampa and get going.”
Who’s hot: Sabres forward Tyler Ennis returned Monday to score both their goals in a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars. He has four goals in the past three games he’s played. … Lightning forward Teddy Purcell has an assist in four of the past five games.
Part of the Ryan Miller trade was a conditional pick from the Blues which at best could be a 2014 1st rounder and at worst be a 2016 3rd rounder if no conditions are met. Here are the known conditions to the pick:
The Sabres receive the Blues’ 1st round pick in 2014 and 3rd round pick in 2016, Sabres send their 2014 2nd round pick acquired in the Pominville trade and their own 2014 3rd rounder to the Blues if:
- If St. Louis makes it to the Western Conference Finals and Miller appears in at least 50% of the game minutes accumulated by Blues’ goalies during the 1st and 2nd round of the 2014 playoffs
- If St. Louis signs Miller before the Blues’ first round selection in the 2014 draft, 2014 1st rounder, Sabres send the 2014 2nd round pick acquired in the Pominville trade and their own 2014 3rd rounder to the Blues.
- If the Blues trade Miller to another team before their own 1st round selection the 2014 draft.
If none of the above conditions are met the Sabres receive the Blues’ 2016 2nd rounder if:
- Blues sign Miller after their 1st round draft selection in the 2014
- Blues trade Miller to another team after Blues’ 1st round draft selection and prior to July 1, 2014
- Blues sign Miller during the 2014-15 season
If no conditions are met the Sabres receive the Blues 3rd round pick in 2016.
San Jose: Braun(110), Vlasic(108), Stuart(101), Demers(78) Tonight’s Starting Goaltending Matchup:
Buffalo: Ryan Miller 15-22-3 2.72 GAA .923 SV% 0 SO
San Jose: Antti Niemi 29-12-6 2.39 GAA .912 SV% 2 SO Notes:
Last Meeting: November 5 Sabres Won(SO) 5-4
Season Series: Sabres Lead 1-0-0
All-Time: Sabres Lead 19-6-5
All-Time vs SJS: Sabres Lead 14-1-0 Upcoming Matchups: Last Game Recap: D’Agostini Scores Winner :22 Seconds into Overtime To Give The Sabres Their 2nd Win In A Row It’s been a long time since Jhonas Enroth has been able to skate off the ice as a winning goaltender.
Wednesday night, the Buffalo Sabres netminder was able to do just that as picked up his second win of the season and his first since Oct. 25 in Buffalo’s 5-4 overtime win against the Boston Bruins at First Niagara Center.
After Matt D’Agostini scored the game-winning goal 22 seconds into the extra period, it seemed as if the players pouring off the bench could decide whether to celebrate first with D’Agostini or Enroth.
“You never know who to go to in that situation,” Sabres forward Brian Flynn said. “[Enroth] battled all night and has all season. I think the boys felt good to get the win for him.”
Enroth had gone 0-10-4 in his 14 decisions between wins. On Wednesday, he turned aside 29 shots to earn his first career win against Boston.
“I just tried to stay with my own game and focus on my own job and don’t really worry about the end there,” Enroth said. “That’s pretty much it.”
Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan liked to see the players on the bench go over to recognize Enroth after the game. He sees it as another step in developing a different type of culture within the dressing room.
“The one thing we’ve been trying to create here is a team-type of atmosphere,” Nolan said. “The guys really care for one another, they work together, so they know how long it’s been for Jhonas to get that win and you could see the way they went to him was a great sign.”
D’Agostini’s goal came thanks to a big burst of speed and Chara mishandling the puck at center ice. D’Agostini raced through the neutral zone, picked up the puck and went in on a partial breakaway against goaltender Chad Johnson.
He then put the puck home on a backhand past Johnson’s right skate for his fourth goal of the season.
“It feels good to just contribute,” D’Agostini said. “You get your chances and playing good is one thing, but to get a goal to help the team win feels pretty good.” http://sabres.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/recap?id=2013020882 Tonight’s Preview:
Buffalo: Ennis Body Soreness(Questionable)
San Jose: Hertl Right Knee Surgery(IR/Out), Stuart Upper Body(IR/Out), Kennedy Lower Body(Questionable)
Next 5 Games:
March 3 at Dallas Stars 8:00 PM(NBCSN HD/TSN2 HD)
March 6 at Tampa Bay Lighting 7:30 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)
March 7 at Florida Panthers 7:30 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)
March 9 vs Chicago Blackhawks 7:30 PM(NBCSN HD/TSN2 HD)
March 11 vs Nashville Predators 7:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)
Next 5 Games:
February 25 vs Carolina Hurricanes 7:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD/NHLN US HD)
February 26 vs Boston Bruins 7:30 PM(NBCSN HD/TSN 2 HD)
February 28 vs San Jose Sharks 7:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD/NHLN-CA HD)
March 3 at Dallas Stars 8:00 PM(NBCSN HD/TSN2 HD)
March 6 at Tampa Bay Lightning 7:30 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)
Buffalo: Ryan Miller 14-21-3 2.68 GAA .925 SV% 0 SO
Pittsburgh: Marc-Andre Fleury 30-13-1 2.25 GAA .917 SV% 4 SO
Last Meeting: January 27 Penguins Won 3-0
Season Series: Penguins Lead 2-0-0
All-Time: Penguins Lead 76-62-37
All-Time vs PIT: Sabres Lead 39-29-18
Last Game Recap:
Oilers Shorty Down Sabres 3-2 in Battle of 2 Worst
Drew Stafford made his return to the lineup for the Buffalo Sabres and, in terms of scoring, picked up right where he left off. Unfortunately for the Sabres, his efforts weren’t enough to secure a victory.
Matt Hendricks scored on a shorthanded breakaway 57 seconds into the third period Monday night to lift the Edmonton Oilers over the Sabres 3-2 at First Niagara Center.
The Sabres and Oilers were locked in a 2-2- tie before Hendricks made his way in over the Buffalo line to beat goaltender Jhonas Enroth. Jeff Petry and Justin Schultz also scored for Edmonton.
Sabres captain Steve Ott tallied on the power play in the first period.
Goaltender Jhonas Enroth stopped 25 Edmonton shots while Oilers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 42 saves. Buffalo’s 44 shots on goal were a season-high.
“I think we played pretty well today and we created a lot of scoring chances,” Linus Omark, who was acquired by the Sabres from the Oilers in December, said. “We should’ve scored more than two goals. But he was good tonight, Bryzgalov.”
Stafford, who missed four games with an upper-body injury, scored a shorthanded goal with 55.8 seconds to play in the second period to give Buffalo a 2-1 lead. The goal was his second career shorthanded marker and he now has six points (4+2) in his last five games.
He now has eight goals on the season and downplayed the notion that he’s feeling more confident.
“It’s more about just going out and playing free and having a clear head than anything,” he said. “Even when you have confidence, that doesn’t mean you’re going to score every time. There are a lot of times when you might be feeling good, but the puck’s just not going in for you. That’s just the way it works.”
Stafford’s goal came on a 2-on-1 break with Zemgus Girgensons. Skating down the right wing, Stafford held up as he crossed the blue line and then walked in toward the middle of the ice to wrist a shot top shelf over Bryzgalov. It’s the type of shot Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan would like to see more of.
“I thought Drew, the way he shot that puck, that’s what we want to see,” Nolan said. “He’s a big power forward and he’s starting to get his confidence back. In the first game back after a [four-game] break, it’s tough sometimes, but I thought he played well.”
Big story: Sabres goalie Ryan Miller will once again represent the United States when the Sochi Olympics begin in a matter of days. Fleury couldn’t crack the Canadian roster, but he leads the NHL with 30 wins and has the Penguins positioned as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Penguins: With Taylor Pyatt injured on his opening shift in a 2-1 overtime win against the Ottawa Senators on Monday and Andrew Ebbett reassigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, assistant coach Tony Granato supplemented Pittsburgh’s forward depth by skating on the fourth line at practice Tuesday.
Fleury became the fastest Penguins goalie ever to 30 wins in a season and had his teammates raving about a save he made in the third period on Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson. The Penguins went on to win when James Neal scored 1:55 into the extra period.
“That’s the best one I’ve ever seen him make,” Neal said of Fleury’s glove stop on a blistering one-timer by Karlsson. “He’s been doing that all year. He’s an unbelievable goalie. He showed that. His consistency has been great all year. He just keeps getting better.”
Sabres: Since a run of four wins in six games from Dec. 17-29, Buffalo has won just four of its past 16 games. Interim coach Ted Nolan has shuffled players in and out of the lineup; forward Ville Leino, a healthy scratch for the 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, saw some time on the second line at practice Tuesday.
With only six games remaining prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on March 5 — two before the Olympic break, four after — the scuttlebutt surrounding Miller’s future continues. The 33-year-old pending unrestricted free agent has the sixth-best save percentage (.925) despite facing the fourth-highest volume of shots (1,339).
“We haven’t talked about anything with regard to contracts,” Miller said Tuesday of his dealings with Sabres management. “We haven’t talked about anything with regard to trades.”
Who’s hot: Penguins forwards Jussi Jokinen (one goal, four assists) Evgeni Malkin (two goals, two assists) and Neal (one goal, two assists) all have three-game point streaks. … Sabres forward Steve Ott has two goals in the past three games.
Alexander Semin tallied twice for the Hurricanes. Jeff Skinner also scored and Jiri Tlusty added an empty net goal with 0.8 seconds remaining in regulation. Anton Khudobin turned aside 26 shots.
Phil Varone, making his NHL debut, assisted on Flynn’s second-period goal for his first career point.
“It was a good feeling. It would’ve been a lot better in a win. It was fun, it was exciting,” Varone said. “I was glad to have my family here, but like I said, I wish it would’ve been in a winning cause.”
The Sabres are 0-3-2 in their past five games and have given up four our more goals in each of them.
“We’re finding ways to lose hockey games versus playing ways to win hockey games,” Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said.
Ennis put the Sabres ahead 3-2 just 49 seconds into the third period. After Drew Stafford rang a shot off the crossbar, Ennis, slapped a bouncing puck in from the left wing.
Ennis is now on a career-best six-game point streak with three goals and four assists in those games.
Carolina came back to score the final two goals 2:25 apart in the third period. Semin’s second goal of the game tied the affair and Sekera’s low slap shot from the point through traffic with 10:10 remaining put the Hurricanes ahead for the first time all game.
“It was nice to get the lead. Then as soon as we got the lead, we kind of sat back,” Ennis said. “They took it to us and that’s a tough loss.”
Blue Jackets welcome Sabres seeking 9th straight win
Last 10: Buffalo 2-5-3; Columbus 9-1-0
Big story: The Blue Jackets and Sabres are streaking, but in opposite directions. Columbus comes to First Niagara Center hoping to extend its franchise-record eight-game winning streak. Buffalo, last in the overall standings, hasn’t won in its past five games despite scoring three goals in each.
Sabres: After losing three in a row at home, the Sabres are looking forward to a stretch when they play four of their next five games away from Buffalo.
“Sometimes, you go on the road and it’s good for you when you’re in a little bit of a funk,” forward Matt Moulson told the team website after practice Friday at First Niagara Center. “You can play a lot simpler. There’s no one to impress on the road and you can concentrate on just grinding out wins. We’ll approach it like that, play a simple game and get wins.”
The Sabres are aware they’ll be trying to cool off the NHL’s hottest team.
“They’ve been great of late,” center Cody Hodgson said. “They’ve got a lot of firepower, and just the way they play the game is fast. We have to eliminate that.”
Blue Jackets: Columbus is in a stretch when it will play nine of 12 games at Nationwide Arena before a three-game California trip wraps up the pre-Olympic portion of the schedule, and the Blue Jackets are taking full advantage. Five of the eight victories during the winning streak have come at home, including 5-2 against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.
“We’re feeding off the crowd and the energy,” coach Todd Richards told the team website. “That’s probably been the biggest factor: our comfort level, our confidence level, and the energy of the crowd at Nationwide Arena.”
One tactical advantage home teams enjoy is getting the last line change. Richards said he feels all of his forwards are playing so well he doesn’t need to do a lot of matching.
“I’m not worrying as much about that because of how our lines are going,” Richards said. “We’re rolling four lines and giving guys ice time and are able to spread it around. We’re getting all four lines going, all six defensemen going. We have that depth going, and that’s big for us.”
Who’s hot: Sabres forward Tyler Ennis has a point in six straight games, including a goal Thursday in a 5-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. … Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky had a goal and an assist against the Flyers, giving him six points in his past four games. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is 6-0-0 and has allowed 11 goals since returning from a groin injury.
Phil Kessel, Nikolai Kulemin and Morgan Rielly scored for the Maple Leafs. James Reimer made 27 saves. In the shootout, Toronto scored on all three of their attempts to claim the extra point.
Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan couldn’t put his finger on what was different in the third period Wednesday as opposed to Tuesday, but credited the efforts of some of the leaders on the team.
“I think the guys just bared down a little bit,” he said. “We had some great leadership tonight again from Steve Ott and he really willed this game back. I thought [Zemgus] Girgensons was outstanding here tonight. Overall, the guys worked hard.”
The game marked the fifth and final meeting between the two Atlantic Division rivals. Toronto ended up going 3-1-1 to win the season series.
Buffalo has collected six points in their past five games and the players are starting to see the work they’re putting in produce more of the results they’re looking for.
“We’re definitely playing a simpler game. It keeps us in more hockey games,” Miller said. “You’re going to pick up points that way. That’s the secret to the NHL now is just hang around and be in the games and then separate yourself. If you can get good chemistry and if you get lucky, you’re not going to get hurt too often with your forward group or your D group.”
Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers returned to the lineup after serving a three-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Dainius Zubrus on Jan 4. He played 26:02 against Toronto and recorded the primary assist on Ellis’ goal.
He also played a big part in a successful penalty kill in overtime.
“I thought we did a really good job. I thought we were pretty aggressive and I thought that’s what we needed to try to do to try and limit their chances,” he said. “It’s never easy 4-on-3, 5-on-3 but the way we pressure them, that’s what we needed to do and it resulted in a pretty good kill.”
Nolan was impressed with the 6-foot-8 defenseman’s game.
“You can tell how much you missed a player tonight and how significant he was tonight. I thought Tyler Myers, his first game back, it was probably one of his better games he’s played all season long,” Nolan said. “He played with a little pizzazz, he played with some energy and he was very aggressive. He had a great game.”
The Sabres have announced that Tim Murray will be the new Sabres GM. Murray was assistant general manager with the Ottawa Senators under his uncle Brian Murray. Murray also has been with the Red Wings, Panthers, Ducks, and Rangers in Scouting Roles.
In the most shocking news of the day the Sabres have also brought in Craig Patrick to be a special assistant and advisor. Patrick was an assistant coach and general manager of the 1980 USA gold medal winning olympic hockey team. In 1981 Patrick became General manager of the New York Rangers. He was also head coach of the Rangers for the 80-81 season and 84-85 season. After leaving the Rangers Patrick was hired by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1989. Murray would be the GM of the Penguins from 1989-2006 in that time would build 2 stanley cup winners. Patrick was also vital in the Penguins rebuild that would lead to the Penguins winning the stanley cup in 2009. He was also coach of the penguins for the 89-90 and 96-97 seasons.
All-Time vs CAR: Sabres Lead 54-30-8 Upcoming Matchups:
January 23 vs Hurricanes 7:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)
March 13 at Hurricanes 7:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD) Last Game Recap: 2 Power Play Goals Lead To Sabres 2-1 Victory Over Devils The Buffalo Sabres finally got their power play working Saturday night and it helped them earn two points in the standings. Matt Moulson and Matt D’Agostini each tallied with the man advantage in Buffalo’s 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils at a sold-out First Niagara Center. Ryan Miller stopped 20 shots in goal.
The Sabres hadn’t scored two power-play goals in the same game since Oct. 8 against Tampa Bay.
D’Agostini, who netted the game-winner with 8:11 remaining in the third period, scored his first of the season and his first since April 18 when he was with the Devils.
“It was good. I’ve been getting the chances, just not capitalizing on them,” D’Agostini said. “I was trying not to let that wear on me too much and just keep playing my game, but it was good to get one to fall tonight.”
The Sabres are 6-0-1 in their last seven home games and have points in seven straight at home for the first time since a run from February 19 to March 7, 2012. Coming off two losses on the road, the Sabres felt like it was important to come back and earn two points.
“We definitely need that and we’ve got to start translating it into road games obviously, but at least we can come home and have a good effort and keep building,” Miller said.
The last time the two teams played, the Devils scored the game’s only goal with 40.2 seconds in overtime. For almost two full periods, it looked like the two clubs could be battling in yet another extended goalless affair.
That is until Moulson put in his 14th goal of the season.
Moulson opened the scoring with 30.4 seconds remaining in the second period on the power play. Tyler Ennis skated around the Devils net and put a puck on goal, only to have the rebound deflect to Moulson, who lifted it into the net over Cory Schneider’s blocker.
“It was a great play by [Ennis] circling around there and throwing it in front. I was lucky enough to kind of find it and put it in the net,” Moulson said. “Marcus did a great job in front of the net and kind of took that defender with him, kind of left me open there so it was a good play and we were generating some good chances on that little segment there.”
He’s scored seven of his eight goals since joining the Sabres on home ice. http://sabres.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/recap?id=2013020628 Tonight’s Preview:
Sabres put home streak on line vs. surging Hurricanes
Last 10: Carolina 5-3-2; Buffalo 5-3-2 Big story: The Hurricanes hope to win their fifth game in a row. The Sabres, who started the season 0-8-1 on home ice, look for their sixth consecutive win at First Niagara Center.
“Getting back to simple hockey,” Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers said when asked about the recent success at home after a 2-1 win Saturday against the New Jersey Devils. “Tonight I thought we got back to playing the game we need to if we want to have success.” Team scope: Hurricanes: Carolina has won a season-high four games in a row, all by one goal, despite getting outshot in each of their past three. They defeated the Nashville Predators 2-1 on Sunday with Jeff Skinner picking up a goal and an assist. He was named the NHL’s first star of the week Monday with six goals and nine points in four games.
“I just keep trying to hit the net. (Tuomo) Ruutu made a great pass to me and I just tried to get it through to the net. I think it went through their defenseman’s legs. Sometimes that’s just the way it goes,” Skinner said Sunday.
His third-period goal was the game-winner. Skinner now has four game-winning goals this season.
“He’s scoring, but he is scoring clutch goals. That’s a difference as well. The guys that we needed to score tonight in a grinding-type game — three games in four nights — came through for us,” coach Kirk Muller said. Sabres: Matt D’Agostini scored his first goal of the season midway through the third period Saturday night, and it turned out to be the game-winner against New Jersey.
“We knew it was going to be hard to come by but we stuck with our game plan and got the goals that we needed,” D’Agostini told Sabres TV after the game.
Buffalo has had trouble scoring goals all season but has now won three of its past four one-goal games. Who’s hot: Skinner has a five-game scoring streak (six goals, four assists) for the Hurricanes. Alexander Semin has eight points in seven games. … Recently named to the U.S. Olympic team, Sabres goalie Ryan Miller is 3-1-1 in his past five starts with a .951 save percentage. http://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/preview?id=2013020647&navid=sb:preview Injury Report: