Sabres' Ullmark steals the show in Florida

Linus Ullmark makes 43 save in the win

Paul Hamilton
November 24, 2019 - 8:22 pm
Linus Ullmark

Photo: Joel Auerbach - Getty Images

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(WGR 550) - The Sabres went on the road and played the top-two teams in the Atlantic Division and split the four points. It’s a shame for them that they didn’t take three points or all four because Buffalo played its best game of the season in Boston and didn’t get a point.

The Sabres were certainly opportunistic in Florida, but they needed Linus Ullmark to stand on his head and make 43 saves to get the 5-2 win over the Panthers.

If you want to simplify this game, the Sabres got the goaltending, and Panthers netminder Sam Montembeault had a really rough night.

Buffalo got outshot in the first period, 12-5, yet left leading 2-0. It was a total opposite of what happened in Boston.

You had to love the way the Sabres scored their goals too.

Jack Eichel made a very nice play to Jeff Skinner, who was going to the net. Skinner had come into the game with one goal in nine games.

Curtis Lazar was a healthy scratch and Ralph Krueger decided to go with seven defensemen. In one of his first shifts up front, Brandon Montour chipped a puck up to Zemgus Girgensons for his first goal of the game. Coming in, Girgensons hadn’t scored in 13 games.

Just 3:42 into the second period, the Sabres had a 3-0 lead on a beautiful individual effort from Eichel. Zach Bogosian got an assist in his first game of the season. Bogosian played 22:03 and led the team. I thought he handled the ice-time very well.

There was one shift in the second period where Bogosian and Rasmus Dahlin got hemmed into the defensive zone for 1:52. Buffalo got completely run over and dominated, but a funny thing happened after Ullmark put a stop to it and froze the puck. Eichel led a breakout to Sam Reinhart, who, in turn, sprung Victor Olofsson and his laser of a shot made it a 4-1 score for the Sabres. The Swedish winger had come into the game with one goal in 15 games.

The beauty of this game was every time Florida got up off the mat, the Sabres knocked them back down. It was a game where things happened, the team survived and then they responded.

Brett Connolly’s power play goal had cut Buffalo’s lead to two, but it was Girgensons, again, banging away in the crease and connecting for his second goal on the game.

The Sabres hadn’t won in Sunrise since 2015 and were 1-8-2 in their last 11 games in that building. Buffalo is now one point back of Toronto in the Atlantic Division, two behind Montreal and four back of second place Florida.

Despite two losses to the Lightning, the Sabres remain one point in front of Tampa Bay with a game there on Monday.

Join Schopp and the Bulldog for the pregame starting at 6:00.

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