Bogosian Enters the Fire with No Problems in His Sabres Debut

The Buffalo Sabres were unable to make the third period comeback as they fell to the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in the late Sunday night game to wrap up the five-game homestand 1-4-0. The chances were plentiful for the Sabres but they were unable to capitalize on an uncharacteristic night for the Flyers, with forwards Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux failing to draw ink in the point department for Philadelphia.

It was Matt Read that opened up the scoring for the Philadelphia Flyers early in the first period. With traffic in front of the Sabres net, Read was able to deflect Wayne Simmond’s shot from the point past a downed Michal Neuvirth. With Read’s goal coming just 3:19 into the first, it was clear that the Sabres had a little rust to knock off following a four-day break from in-game action.

“We had four days off and two of those days we didn’t practice,” Sabres head coach Ted Nolan said. “I thought we were just a little rusty there at the beginning but we got our legs under us there in the second period and I thought we played well for the rest of the game.”

Read’s early goal on a rusty Sabres team would prove costly, as the Sabres were only able to score one and lose by a one-goal margin. Nikita Zadorov lit the light for the Sabres lone goal late in the second period. Following a play in which Claude Giroux and Braydon Coburn both took penalties, the Sabres were given a rare 5 on 3 chance for a full two minutes. Taking a feed from Rasmus Ristolainen, Zadorov was able to send a laser past Flyers goalie Ray Emery for his third goal of the season. Zadorov’s goal was good enough for his seventh point (1 G, 6 A) in his last seven games played.

With the Sabres only goal in tonight's game, Nikita Zadorov now has 7 points (1 G, 6 A) in his last seven games. He was paired with Rasmus Ristolainen in one of the youngest defensive pairings throughout the league.  Picture courtesy of USATSI

With the Sabres only goal in tonight's game, Nikita Zadorov now has 7 points (1 G, 6 A) in his last seven games. He was paired with Rasmus Ristolainen in one of the youngest defensive pairings throughout the league. 

Picture courtesy of USATSI

It looked as if this game was heading into overtime until Michael Raffl spoiled the chances for extra hockey just past the halfway point in the third. Playing in his first game since January 20th, Raffl was able to surprise Neuvirth with the wraparound goal, his 13th of the season. In the two games that these teams have been pitted up against each other this season, this is Raffl’s second time scoring the game-winning goal.    

With temperature gauge steadily dropping in Buffalo, Zach Bogosian had no problem being thrown into the fire tonight against the Philidelphia Flyers. Although the Sabres were not able to make the comeback in the third period, the newly acquired presence of Bogosian was felt throughout the game. In his first game with the Sabres, Bogosian set a new season record for his team with 11 hits in his 24:49 TOI.

“I try and bring the same style every night,” Bogosian said. “Your hands and feet might not be there every night, but if you can compete and play hard, you make it hard on their number one line,” he added.

On his call up from the Rochester Americans, Johan Larsson played an impressive game alongside Cody Hodgson. Despite logging the lowest TOI for the team, the duo was able to pepper Emery with 5 shots. It will be interesting to see how their performance tonight will impact their playing time in the next string of games.

The Sabres are in action again this Tuesday as they take on the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center. With the flock of media attention following Zach Bogosian and the blockbuster trade, the game will be covered on NBC Sports Network once again with a 7:30 faceoff time.