Sabres Defeat Lightning in a Shootout

 Zemgus Girgensons scored late in the 3rd to tie the game and bring it to overtime.

Zemgus Girgensons scored late in the 3rd to tie the game and bring it to overtime.

The Buffalo Sabres are on a warpath.  Winners in six of their last seven including back to back wins over Montreal and now over Tampa Bay as they defeated the Lightning Tuesday night 2-1 in a shootout. 

The Sabres held the Lightning to two shots on goal in the first period.  The sounds weird because of the mediocre grammar but also because the fact the Tampa Bay is the leagues best scoring team while Buffalo is notorious for allowing extremely high shot totals.  

Jhonas Enroth knew that Tampa Bay would come back strong after a dull first period.

“The first period wasn’t that tough for me.  I knew they were a strong team and that I had to be on my game right as the second period began.”

Jhonas was right as the Lightning registered sixteen shots in the second period.  Although Buffalo did not play great in the frame, Enroth was able to keep them alive. 

Buffalo found themselves down 9:52 into the third period off a Ondrej Palat found the back of the net off of a rebound.  The crowd was down, and the atmosphere was dull until Zemgus Girgensons scored on a rebound of his own off of a Tyler Myers shot from the point. 

Tyler Myers, in one of his season best games, almost won the game by himself in the overtime period.  Myers looked like the Myers of old for the majority of game, although he admitted he felt particularly off his game in the second period.  He told the media afterwards that he used his poor play for motivation in overtime.

“I was a little upset with myself for not shooting the puck a few times in the second so I tried to redeem myself when I had the opportunity in overtime.”

Myers continued to speak about how well the team has played recently.

“Theres obviously areas that we can improve but I really like the direction this team is headed.  We just need to come to the rink and continue to improve every day. “

It is worth noting that Cody Hodgson, who has struggled this year, was Nolan’s first shootout selection.  Hodgson hasn’t been a normal candidate but Nolan explained that he felt in his gut that Cody was up for the challenge. 

“Sometimes you just have that gut feeling.  Cody has been playing better lately and I felt he deserved an opportunity there.”

Hodgson scored and there are potential dividends if this helps his confidence.   Gutsy call that I liked from Nolan. 

The Sabres will look to continue their winning ways as they head down to Tampa Bay for a game Thursday night.