The fans celebrate the Sabres' record-tying 10th straight win

Jeff Skinner comes through once again in overtime

Paul Hamilton
November 27, 2018 - 10:54 pm

Photo: Jeffrey T. Barnes - Associated Press

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - I thought it would be a long time before the Sabres would get their fans back, but the phenomenal start to this season had the fans blowing the roof off the place when Jeff Skinner won the team’s record tying 10th straight game in overtime.  

I usually head right for the elevator when the game is over, but I hovered around my seat to listen to the screaming fans celebrate.

The Sabres opened Tuesday’s game with San Jose getting the better of the play for the first three or four minutes, but after that, I thought it was an even period.

Kyle Okposo had a couple of chances with one coming from Casey Mittelstadt. I’m told that the first-year kid is in much better shape this season and it shows in his skating. I mentioned more than once last year that I couldn’t see the speed that everybody was talking about when he was drafted.

I am seeing it now and it was on displayed when Mittelstadt flew down the left wing to avoid an icing. He then found Okposo at the top of the crease, but he couldn’t push it by Martin Jones.

Jones looked shaky early as Tage Thompson’s shot got through Jones, but trickled wide. Nate Beaulieu skated in from the left point and ripped a canon off of Jones left arm.

Jack Eichel’s line had a lot of offensive zone time, but Eichel passed up a couple of shots to pass. Sam Reinhart got behind the defense and attacked the net from the right circle, but Jones handled his backhand shot. Eichel didn't have a point in this game, but he was dangerous all night and the Sharks didn't have an answer for him.

I’d love to see Rasmus Ristolainen get into the offensive zone more as he had a good wrap-around attempt, but Jones got over to the right post.

Ristolainen played tough on Evander Kane with two tough hits on him in the first period. Kane ignored the first one, but came back with a few cross checks to the back after the second.

The Sabres decided not to do a tribute video for Kane, but they did welcome him back and put the camera on him as he sat on the bench. Kane got some light boos the first few times he touched the puck.

I have been saying for four years that Ristolainen has so much he can give in the offensive zone and he gave a great example on the game’s first goal. The defensemen took off down the left wing and totally embarrassed Brent Burns, flying around him like he wasn’t even there. That put him one-on-one with Jones and he tucked it under the cross bar.

It was just a great effort and a better celebration that Bills cornerback Tre White would’ve been proud of.

I thought the Sabres did a good job of tipping the game their way in the period. Jones had to stop a rocket right as the period began. Rasmus Dahlin found Tage Thompson who let it go. Jones just got a piece of.

There were other chances, but none of them compared to what Ristolainen pulled off.

Beaulieu wasn’t even supposed to play in this game, but for some reason, Jason Botterill announced on WGR with Schopp and the Bulldog that Marco Scandella was not available for the game. No reason was given and he was in the locker room after the game. Phil Housley said it's a one-game thing and Scandella will practice on Wednesday.

Beaulieu took advantage of his opportunity, putting the Sabres up 2-0. He came flying in back door and I could hear him yelling to Reinhart for the pass all the way in. Reinhart put the puck right on the defenseman’s tape.

The game that tied the record was different than the rest because in this one, it was Buffalo that blew a two-goal lead. Joe Pavelski netted a pair to tie it.

Again, there was no panic in the players that has defined this team for at least five years. They killed off a final penalty to Evan Rodrigues that got the game to overtime for Skinner’s heroics.

Skinner now leads the NHL with 19 goals. That puts him on a pace for 62 goals this season.

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