The Buffalo Sabres hosted the Philadelphia Flyers this afternoon, looking to turn their fortunes around after an ugly loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.
Buffalo came out early with the momentum solely in their favor, mostly due to a Patrick Kaleta beat down of Flyers defenseman Oliver Lauridsen.
Physicality would continue to be a focal point throughout much of the first period.
Although the Sabres continued to stay physical, they struggled to gain any offensive momentum throughout much of the final ten minutes in the first.
Heading into the second period, the Sabres would begin the period with the momentum and with the momentum, they would get offensive opportunities.
Although the chances were there, Buffalo just could not convert at all.
As the period began to go on, the Sabres would cease their offensive zone pressure. This allowed the Flyers to dominate just around ten minutes of the second period.
The third period would be where the Sabres ultimately took control of the game.
Just 17 seconds into the final period, a Christian Ehrhoff point shot bounced off the boards behind Flyers goaltender Steve Mason. The puck would take a weird bounce, off of Mason’s skate and into the net for the frist goal of the game.
“Sometimes you get a good bounce off the boards,” said Ehrhoff. “It was the only goal of the game, so I’m happy with it.”
Following their goal, the Sabres would keep the pressure on the Flyers.
Throughout most of the third period, the Sabres would find themselves hemming the Flyers in their own zone. Although the Flyers outshot the Sabres in the final period, Buffalo dominated inside the Flyers’ zone.
With about three minutes left, the Sabres began to break down.
Philadelphia was able to get and keep the puck deep in Buffalo’s zone.
With the good play of a handful of Sabres defensemen, coupled with a few acrobatic Jhonas Enroth saves, Buffalo was able to keep the game scoreless.
As the final minute ran through, Buffalo had a few attempts at empty net goals but they were unsuccessful.
“That was a big game for us,” said winning goaltender Jhonas Enroth. “We needed the points there. Every game is a playoff game for us.”
With the Sabres 1-0 victory, they now sit in 11th place in the Eastern Conference at 17-19-6 with 40 points.
Buffalo plays again tomorrow afternoon with the Tampa Bay Lightning come to town. Puck drops at 5 PM and the game will be broadcast on MSG.
– Defenseman Chad Ruhwedel made his NHL debut this afternoon, skating 13:00 minutes (18 shifts). “It’s been a whirlwind,” Ruhwedel said. “It was pure adrenaline tonight. It’s been surreal, and these guys made my job easy tonight.”