Tyler Myers entered Saturday night with 299 career games played with the Buffalo Sabres. Game number 300 provided plenty of highlights from the towering defenseman.
Myers opened the scoring against the Columbus Blue Jackets just 59 seconds into the game. Left wing Matt Moulson fed a beautiful pass through two Columbus defenders to Myers, who put the puck over the blocker of Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
Myers also came up huge for the Sabres late in the game, scoring the game-tying goal with 25 seconds remaining to force overtime. Like the first goal, Myers scored by cutting to the net and being available for a great pass from a teammate.
“I thought both of my goals were really nice looks by Matty and Cody, they were really nice passes and fortunately they went in,” Myers said.
Throughout the game, Myers fed off the energy of scoring that first goal, and appeared very confident with the puck. This was especially true on the power play, where Myers and Christian Ehrhoff helped Buffalo generate numerous quality scoring chances, including Myers’ second goal.
Confidence is an area of Myers’ game that he has been working on since the offseason. Now with seven points (4+3) in his last 15 games, Myers is picking up his offensive play as the season moves forward.
Still, the development from a mental standpoint has been an ongoing process throughout the season for Myers. Continuing to play like he did against Columbus is the key moving forward.
“I don’t think it’s a matter of focusing on this game or one game in particular,” Myers said. “I’ve had a lot of help along the way this year, a lot of people I could be thanking. It’s just a matter of trying to keep improving, not only in games, but trying new things in practice when I have the chance and get the opportunity to kind of show myself that I am capable of doing things like that and, you know, rediscovering my game again.
“I think I’m heading in a great direction right now, and it’s just a matter of building off of it and trying to keep going.”
Defensively, the Sabres still had a couple of lapses that hindered their performance. Myers was on the ice for two of Columbus’ three goals, and he acknowledged the ability to get better in that end moving forward.
“As a group, we’ve been doing a lot better job of playing the same way throughout a 60-minute game. We still have a lot of lapses, but you can tell there is a huge difference to where we were even a month ago, even two weeks ago. I think we’re getting better and better at our consistency and it’s just a matter of sticking with it.”
Like his brother, Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno, Marcus Foligno is known for contributing hard hits and gritty play for the Sabres. Against Columbus, Marcus set a personal season-high with eight hits.
Foligno previously had seven hits in two separate games: Oct. 8 versus Tampa Bay, and Nov. 8 against Anaheim. With his performance tonight, Foligno is now second on the Sabres in hits behind Steve Ott.
The season-high for Foligno comes one game after Zemgus Girgensons registered a personal season-high with 13 hits in a shootout loss to Toronto on Wednesday.