After hitting a new low point earlier this week, the Buffalo Sabres were finally on the winning end of a game in regulation.
They weren't exactly impressive in doing so, getting outshot 45-20, but they were able to pull out a 3-1 win in Florida behind a sensational goaltending performance from backup goaltender Jhonas Enroth. Had Enroth been anything less than stellar, this might have been a blowout loss in the other direction. After one period the Sabres were already being outshot 18-4 but were only down by one goal. The Sabres managed to tie the game in the second on Rasmus Ristolainen's first NHL goal (which actually sparked a fight), and then get the game-winner from Steve Ott early in the third. Cody Hodgson added an empty-netter later in the period.
Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, the Penguins and Islanders played a wild third period that saw the two teams combine for three goals in 70 seconds, with one of the goals going to defensive turned forward Deryk Engelland. The Islanders ended up scoring three goals in the final seven minutes, with some assists from the Penguins' numerous defensive breakdowns, to get the win.
All the NHL Scores
Islanders 4, Penguins 3
Blue Jackets 5, Maple Leafs 2
Sabres 3, Panthers 1
Avalanche 4, Hurricanes 2
On Friday we asked you five burning questions about the day's games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. How will David Clarkson fare in his debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs?
Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said Clarkson looked a little rusty in his first game back from suspension, and it didn't take him long to take a costly penalty. Clarkson was sent to the box just five minutes in for hooking and Columbus wasted no time in making him pay on Ryan Murray's first career goal. He ended up playing 15:41 and registering four shots on goal.
2. Will Kris Letang have any rust?
For 57 minutes Letang was really strong in his season debut, but he was guilty of a costly turnover in the final minutes that resulted in Josh Bailey's game-winning goal. Letang's mistake will get the most attention since it resulted in the game-winning goal, but there were several Penguins on that play (Rob Scuderi, Chris Kunitz), as well on the Islanders' third goal, that were equally guilty.
3. Game No. 300 for T.J. Oshie. Will he do anything to mark the occasion?
Oshie played nearly 24 minutes in the Blues' 3-2 overtime loss and recorded an assist on Alex Steen's late second period goal.
4. Will the Avalanche make history?
They did not. If the Avalanche had held Carolina to just one goal they would have matched the NHL record for fewest goals allowed through the first 10 games of the season (12). They allowed two goals, but probably aren't too worried about the missed chance at history seeing as how they scored four and continued their hot start.
5. Will the Sabres snap their three-game losing streak?
Yes! Glory be! Pretty much all of the credit has to go to backup goaltender Jhonas Enroth as he pretty much stole this one for the Sabres.
The one play or moment from Friday's games that will be making headlines for the next couple of days
Matt Duchene scored two more goals for the Avalanche and added another stunner to his highlight reel package for the season. There are a lot of good things happening in Colorado so far this season, but perhaps none are bigger than the impact Duchene is making. He's turning into the type of franchise player the Avalanche expected him to be when they used the No. 3 overall pick on him back in 2009.
Stat of the Night
The Buffalo Sabres played with the lead for the final seven minutes and 18 seconds of Friday's game. That nearly matched the total time (nine minutes and 53 seconds) that they played with the lead over their previous 11 games. Combined.
Post to Post
- Al Montoya isn't the goalie the Winnipeg Jets deserve, but he is the goalie they need.
- Did New Jersey Devils fans really pick the team's new goal song?
- Should Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara be suspended for this hit on San Jose Sharks forwardTommy Wingels?
- A conversation with retired defenseman Jeff Winchester