Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

From the Locker Room: Sabres-Lightning

Nick Baptiste, Scott Wilson, Ryan O'Reilly and Phil Housley address the media after the 5-3 win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday

February 13, 2018 - 9:27 pm

The Buffalo Sabres hosted the NHL's best team in the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday evening at KeyBank Center. This would mark the second of four meetings that these two Atlantic Division foes would have in 2017-18. The Lightning prevailed in the first matchup (11/28/17) in shutout fashion by a score of 2-0.

Buffalo got even on this night, upsetting Tampa Bay by a final score of 5-3. Sam Reinhart scored two goals for the Sabres, including an empty-net goal that iced things in the waning seconds. Backup goalie Chad Johnson recorded his first home victory of the season, stopping 26 of 29 pucks.

Go inside the locker room to hear from Nick Baptiste, Scott Wilson, Ryan O'Reilly and Phil Housley following the triumph:


Nick Baptiste:

Outworking the NHL's best team: "We had a good game tonight. We knew coming in that they were a top team in the league. We had to be at our best if we wanted to beat them. I thought our start was great. We skated really well. That carried throughout the game. We knew their powerplay was pretty deadly, and our penalty kill was massive tonight. That 5-on-3 kill was something that drove us for the whole game."

Won the battles, and the war: "We won the special teams battle which is something we talked about before the game. It was something we needed to do and I thought we got it done. Those guys were great all night."



Scott Wilson:

Punch in the mouth: "I think anytime you can get the first goal at home, it's nice. The last few games we've really been trying to take care of the first 5-10 minutes of a period. From the opening puck drop that led us throughout the game tonight."

Support: "I don't think we've given them much to cheer about, but tonight [their appreciation] was awesome to hear. Glad that they were enjoying the game... That solid start of getting that goal and getting the fans into it was big."



Ryan O'Reilly:

On his hot streak: "It helps to find a rhythm. When you're going to be back out there quick, it's easier to find one. I have to say that my linemates have been playing great, too. This game with Sam [Reinhart] and Benny [Pouliot], they played outstanding. They were making plays and causing turnovers that made the game feel easy."

On Evan Rodrigues' role on the PP in place of Jack: "Evan's a great player. I think you can see out there, that he has great skill too. I thought we did a good job. We know we have to step up; we're missing our best player. Our most dangerous player. We all have to contribute a bit more."



Phil Housley:

Terrific penalty killing: "All our penalty killers did a terrific job tonight. That's a really good hockey team over there, and I thought our guys really controlled their time and space. They're very talented upfront. Our sticks were great. Total team effort."

On O'Reilly's efforts since the Eichel injury: "The thing I like the most about his game is that he's stepped up since Jack's been out. He's really contributed in all ways; not only on the scoreboard but in his own zone as well."


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