Photo: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

From the Locker Room: Sabres-Devils

Hear from Jack Eichel, Robin Lehner, Rasmus Ristolainen and Phil Housley after the 4-3 OT victory over New Jersey on Friday night

December 29, 2017 - 11:15 pm

The Buffalo Sabres once again looked to get their first win after the holiday break, as the team took on the upstart New Jersey Devils on Friday night. Buffalo, playing in its second game since the break, came out on the losing end of an overtime affair two nights ago against the New York Islanders, and hoped to dethrone a New Jersey team that has, to this point, exceeded preseason expectations. The Devils entered the evening tied atop the Metropolitan Division with the Washington Capitals, at 49 points apiece.

And dethrone them, they did. Buffalo rallied from a 3-1 deficit to force overtime, where Rasmus Ristolainen ended things with his first goal of the campaign. The Sabres end 2017 with a victory by a final score of 4-3.

Go inside the locker room to hear from Eichel, Lehner, Ristolainen and Phil Housley following the win.


Jack Eichel:

On overcoming the 3-1 deficit: "I think we did a great job. That's a really good hockey team. They don't make it easy, and they make you earn everything that you get. They have a lot of speed and some real skilled forwards that make a lot of plays. Credit to us for sticking to our gameplan and finding a way to win. It's nice to be on the other end of it."

On Buffalo's second period shot "efficiency": "[Josefson] gets a good bounce there and buries it. That's a big one that got us going. Then [New Jersey] goes up by two, but I thought we had a good battle there from [O'Reilly] and [Girgensons] on the wall... they make a good play, and [McCabe] gets a puck to the net. I just tried to take away his eyes. It was a good one to get before the end [of the second]."



Robin Lehner

On earning a win for a change: "It was nice. I thought that it was a nice road win. They're a good team over there that was swarming us in periods. We were fighting it out together. They had a hell of a second period. They were in our zone for a lot of it, but we managed to score twice. That's key going into the third. We tied it up, and were able to win it in overtime."

On Taylor Hall's overturned goal: "Yeah, you see what happens when the referees get to make the call. Leave the Toronto guys out of it. We get fair results."



Rasmus Ristolainen:

On the relief of scoring his first goal of the year: "I was planning on the first one to happen Monday afternoon [during the Winter Classic] but I'll take it one game earlier."

On his enjoyment of OT play: "Every time we're in overtime, I enjoy it. You have a chance to win [and end] the game, and I got the bounce there tonight in the corner and took the puck to the net."



Phil Housley:

On 3-1 being a lucky deficit for all things Buffalo on this day: "I was watching that USA game before our game. It was a great game overall. To be outdoors in Buffalo, and the crowd; it's what you wanted. But back to our game, we didn't have a great second period in terms of puck decisions in the neutral zone. It came right back at us. I give it to our guys, they dug deep in the third period. Our first and third periods were excellent. We even found a way to finally get a powerplay goal. I'm really proud of our guys in the way they battled. They're a really good hockey team over there. There's a reason why they're number one in the tough Metropolitan Division."

On Jack's game: "He's been playing really good hockey as of late, and it's showing. Tonight was another good example of it. His linemates helped him out a ton, too. They were clicking. His goal at the end of the second was huge for us. It was pivotal for us to get [the deficit] back to one. Our powerplay finally came through. They were really getting some good looks and it paid off."


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