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Postgame Report | Sabres' point streak extends to 7 games with SO loss

Buffalo goes 3-0-1 on road trip after 3-2 loss to Wild

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Kyle Okposo could only be proud of how the Sabres gutted out a point for the seventh straight game, even if the result was not what they had hoped for.

The Sabres' meeting with the Minnesota Wild was their 13th game in 22 days. They were concluding a four-game road trip that included matchups with the top two teams in the Western Conference in Dallas and Winnipeg plus two physical, defense-oriented contenders in St. Louis and Minnesota. Dylan Cozens and Mattias Samuelsson were both absent due to injuries. 

For 60 minutes of regulation and five minutes of overtime, the Sabres went toe to toe with the Wild in spite of those factors stacked against them. The Wild prevailed in the shootout with goals on all three attempts to win, 3-2. 

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Postgame Report | Win streak hits 5 games as Sabres down Jets in Winnipeg

Tuch extends point streak to 7 games, Power scores in third-straight contest

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

WINNIPEG - Eric Comrie stood in the visiting dressing room inside Canada Life Centre, a building where he played parts of seven seasons for the Winnipeg Jets and their AHL affiliate. His focus was squarely on the present and his current team. 

"This team is fantastic," Comrie said. "It's the most fun I've [had] playing hockey in my whole life. It's just fun to be a part of, it's a fun group to be around. We love the game of hockey and we love each other. It's that kind of atmosphere that just breeds performance. 

"Guys want to come here now and it's so much fun to be a part of that. Seeing these guys just battle every single night is pretty special."

The Sabres battled for Comrie on Thursday, outshooting the Jets 36-21 in a 3-2 victory. They extended their winning streak to five games and improved to 12-2-1 in their last 15 road games.

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Postgame Report | Sabres hang on to defeat Blues on the road

Thompson records 3 points as Sabres win first game in St. Louis since 2009

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

ST. LOUIS - Tage Thompson stripped the puck free in front of the St. Louis net, chased down a rebound, and set up a Jeff Skinner goal 60 seconds into the game inside Enterprise Center on Tuesday.

Just like that, the Tage Thompson Show had hit St. Louis. 

The assist was the first of three points for the former Blues forward, who added a goal and another assist to propel the Sabres to a 4-0 lead early in the second period. They survived a second-half push from the Blues and walked away with a 5-3 victory. 

The Sabres extended their winning streak to four games, their point streak to five games, and improved to 11-2-1 in their last 13 contests on the road. 

"I think whether we're on the road or at home, I just think we have a group that loves hockey, loves to compete and I think that's just kind of where we're at as a team right now," Thompson said. "We've got a lot of guys that are just hungry to win and hungry to perform every night and I think you see it."

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'Just a great feeling' | Anderson backstops Sabres to milestone OT win

Goaltendermakes 29 saves in 700th NHL game

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

DALLAS - Craig Anderson returned to the Sabres for nights like Monday - for the milestone, sure, but more so for the thrill of playing the game he loves with a group he believes in. 

Anderson became the 31st goaltender in NHL history to play his 700th game, then bailed his teammates out with 13 saves during a frantic first period against the top team in the Western Conference. The Sabres adjusted and ultimately prevailed for a 3-2 overtime victory over the Dallas Stars inside American Airlines Center.

"The goalies are the last line of defense and when you can make a big save and elevate the team's morale, gosh, it's just a great feeling," Anderson said afterward. "It's like that adrenaline that kind of kicks in and makes you want to keep coming back."

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Postgame Report | Krebs, Olofsson each score a pair in win over Ducks

Buffalo downs Anaheim 6-3 on home ice

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Don Granato rattled off the names of three players who dealt with various forms of adversity this season, all of whom were difference makers for the Buffalo Sabres in a 6-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

Victor Olofsson scored two goals in a span of 15 games from late November through December, continued to work through it alongside linemates Casey Mittelstadt and Tyson Jost. Olofsson scored broke a 3-3 tie in the third period with his 20th and 21st goals, a new career high in just 45 games.

There was Ilya Lyubushkin, who missed two separate stretches with lower-body injuries and has played through pain since, Granato said. Lyubushkin had three assists for the first time in his career.

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Postgame Report | Cozens nets overtime winner on Ryan Miller Night

Sabres come back to beat Islanders 3-2

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Throughout his career, Ryan Miller had a flair for the dramatic and on a night dedicated to him, the Buffalo Sabres delivered an emotional overtime victory. 

Dylan Cozens scored 12 seconds into the extra period Thursday to lift the Sabres to a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Ryan Miller Night presented by KeyBank.

The Sabres inducted Miller, the franchise's winningest goaltender, into the team's Hall of Fame and retired his No. 30 in a pregame ceremony. 

Alex Tuch and Victor Olofsson also scored for the Sabres, who never led in the game until Cozens netted the winner. 

"The building was obviously rocking. On a night like this when it's full and they're celebrating such an unbelievable player to this organization, Ryan Miller, you just want to win so bad," Cozens said. "It really fuels us to win it for him on his special night and win it for all the fans who came."

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was strong in net, stopping 24 shots. Ilya Sorokin made 42 saves for the Islanders. 

"Big game, big night. We were very happy to do this for him and it was something special tonight," Dahlin said. "We really wanted to win this game and we had a ton of chances. We could have been frustrated but we just kept going and we had the confidence for 60 minutes."


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Postgame Report | Sabres pick up point in overtime loss to Chicago

Olofsson, Thompson, Krebs tally in 4-3 road loss

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

CHICAGO - The Buffalo Sabres carried a two-goal lead into the third period but lost 4-3 to the Chicago Blackhawks inside United Center on Tuesday. 

Seth Jones scored the tying goal with 55.8 seconds remaining in regulation and then buried the winner 2:24 into overtime. Jones also assisted on Philipp Kurashev's goal which cut the Sabres' lead in half early in the third period. 

The Sabres led 3-1 after two periods on the strength of goals from Victor Olofsson, Tage Thompson, and Peyton Krebs. 

Buffalo finished the game with a 33-26 edge in shots. Craig Anderson made 22 saves. 

"We obviously had more chances," Sabres coach Don Granato said. "Just didn't bear down and allowed that game to remain close."

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Postgame Report | Sabres fall short in home loss to Florida

Buffalo drops 4-1 decision Monday afternoon at KeyBank Center

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Alex Tuch scored his career-high 21st goal of the season to end Sergei Bobrovsky's shutout in the third period, but the Sabres fell 4-1 to the Florida Panthers inside KeyBank Center on Monday.

Brandon Montour, Sam Bennett, Anton Lundell and Carter Verhaeghe scored goals for the Panthers. Bobrovsky allowed one goal on 29 shots. 

The Panthers pulled ahead on Montour's goal just 4:01 into the game and led from that point on.

"We just didn't quite start on time today," Sabres captain Kyle Okposo said. "They, obviously, had some jump. It's a big game, and they knew it right away, and they came out and they jumped on us. When we realized we were in a fight, it was a little too late."

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 30 saves for Buffalo. 


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Postgame Report | Buffalo rides strong 3rd period to victory in Nashville

Okposo scores shorthanded go-ahead goal to snap 3-game skid

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

NASHVILLE - Don Granato remarked on Saturday morning how the Sabres have seemed to embrace the challenge of playing in raucous road arenas. In the best environments, it can feel like the 20 players in uniform are up against 18,000 people in attendance. 

"They've thrived in these types of situations," Granato said. 

The Sabres won in the hockey-crazed confines of Bell Centre in Montreal. They won in the college-like environment of Arizona, amid the theatrics of Vegas, and in a playoff-like atmosphere on New Year's Eve in Boston. Most recently, they had won on an emotionally charged night in Washington. 

They crossed another building off their list Saturday, earning a 5-3 victory over the Nashville Predators inside Bridgestone Arena to improve to 9-2-0 in their last 11 road games.

Kyle Okposo scored the game-winning, shorthanded goal at 6:43 of the third period after the Predators had stormed back from a two-goal deficit in the second. After that, it was the Sabres' youngest players - the forward trio of JJ Peterka, Dylan Cozens, and Jack Quinn - who combined to add a fifth goal late. 

"I've been here many times with different NHL teams and seen different scenarios where players and teams succumb to that noise and crowd," Granato said. "I'm proud of our guys that they didn't do that, especially our young guys."

The Sabres received goals from five different scorers: Okposo, Quinn, Cozens, Jeff Skinner, and Victor Olofsson. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 36 for his seventh victory in his last eight starts.

"It never felt like we were out of control that entire game, to be honest with you," Okposo said. "They had one shift after that where the crowd got into it, but I thought we were in pretty solid control of that whole game. 

"We just knew we had to come out in the third period and play the way that we know how. We were pretty confident."

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Postgame Report | Sabres unable to take lead in home loss to Jets

Olofsson, Jost score in 4-2 defeat

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Connor Hellebuyck had one last game-changing save in him as Jeff Skinner wrapped behind the Winnipeg Jets' net with under two minutes remaining inside KeyBank Center on Thursday.

Hellebuyck slid back from the top of the crease and pinned his left skate against the post, stopping Skinner's attempt at the tying goal. The puck flipped into the air and fell behind Hellebuyck, but the Jets goaltender clamped it between his skates on the goal line. 

Karson Kuhlman scored an empty-net goal less than a minute later to put the finishing touches on a 4-2 victory for the Jets. Hellebuyck made 39 saves.

"Hellebuyck looked like a sumo wrestler with athleticism," Sabres coach Don Granato said of the Jets' 6-foot-4, 207-pound goaltender.

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