Photo: Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

From the Locker Room: Sabres-Lightning

Casey Mittelstadt, Evan Rodrigues, Alex Nylander and Phil Housley address the media after the 7-5 loss to Tampa Bay on Friday

April 06, 2018 - 7:12 pm

The Buffalo Sabres were dropped, in a wild affair, by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay. No lead was safe, but an empty-net goal by Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman all but assured a Lightning victory as they walked away with the 7-5 triumph over Buffalo.

Amidst the madness was a pair of firsts for some young Sabres forwards. Casey Mittelstadt and Alex Nylander both registered their first National Hockey League goals, both against a top Vezina candidate in Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Defenseman Brendan Guhle also recorded a career-first, registering his first multi-point game with two assists in the loss.

Go inside the locker room to hear from Mittelstadt, Evan Rodrigues, Nylander and Phil Housley following the loss:


Casey Mittelstadt:

First goal feelings: "It's definitely a monkey off my back. [Nick] Baptiste set a really good screen. Great to see your first one go in."

On Scandella sticking up for the blue and gold: "Anytime you see someone get invested in a physical aspect, especially sticking up for a teammate, it gets you going on the bench."



Evan Rodrigues:

Tough break in dying seconds: "We had two guys in front so I peeled off to the side. It was one of those reactions where I thought I could one-time it into the net, but unfortunately I hit the post."

Casey, Alex both on the board: "It was huge. We were joking around that the young kids like the Florida weather. It's exciting for them. I remember my first goal vividly. Something they'll never forget."



Alex Nylander:

First goal reaction: "It's a dream come true, very surreal moment. It's something you dream of when you're younger. Great feeling."

On Guhle's impact in Rochester and now in Buffalo: "He's been really good for us this whole year; jumping into plays, being solid on the blue line, no matter what level we've been playing at."



Phil Housley:

Positives amidst the loss: "Mittelstadt scores his first goal. Nylander scores his first goal; both against such a good team even in their own building. There were major positive alongside those, but that is a great moment for these young guys. Great to see them contributing."

Still bittersweet:

"Based off the way we responded to Tampa's constant challenges, we would've liked to come away with a win. Regardless, I liked the way the guys fought until the end in all aspects."


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