BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - For the first time this season, the Buffalo Sabres were victorious on home ice, knocking off the Detroit Red Wings 1-0. Benoit Pouliot scored the lone goal for the Sabres, who now improve to 3-5-2. Robin Lehner earned his first shutout of the year stopping all 32 Detroit shots.
Five observations from Tuesday's game:
Batman and Robin Lehner
32 shots faced, 32 shots turned away. On Tuesday Robin Lehner was perfect, earning his second straight win and first shutout of the year.
"He made some really big saves at the right time for us," Housley on Lehner #Sabres— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) October 25, 2017
In the first 40 minutes, Lehner was tested only a handful of times. In the final period that changed as Lehner bailed his teammates out time and time again, stopping all 12 Detroit shots in the third period.
All night Lehner seemed comfortable, putting together his best 60 minutes of the young season. After the game he was asked if putting up impressive numbers helps his confidence. He joked it doesn't matter because "even when I have good numbers it doesn't matter anyways."
Much better start
Despite a scoreless first period, the Sabres looked much more comfortable in the first period, especially after the halfway point. Buffalo turned a 9-2 shot deficit into a 12-10 advantage after 20 minutes, generating solid pressure in the final minutes of the opening frame.
Although they didn't get on the board this was what the Sabres needed after several slow starts in their last few games. One of Buffalo's biggest issues this season has been digging themselves into holes they couldn't climb out of. That wasn't the case against the Red Wings.
From Russia with love
In his sixth game with the Sabres, Victor Antipin registered his first point in the NHL, tallying an assist on Pouliot's goal in the second period. For Antipin, it was one of his lone highlights after a pretty up and down game.
The transition to the NHL from the KHL is not an easy one and for Antipin his first six games have been a lot like Tuesday. Some good, some not so good and a few plays that leave you scratching your head. Despite the slow start, there's no reason to give up Antipin just yet. Adjusting to the North American game will take time. Perhaps his first point will give the young defenseman some confidence.
Poo Poo Pouliot
^ read that like the lyrics of "Sussudio" by Phil Collins. All the credit for this goes to Joe Yerdon from NHL.com. He started using this years ago and it has now made its way to Sabres Twitter.
For the second straight game, Pouliot found the back of the net, beating Red Wings' goaltender Jimmy Howard on a sneaky wraparound in the second period. Since moving onto a line with Ryan O'Reilly, Pouliot has strung together a few nice games. Buffalo desperately needs secondary scoring, making the recent contributions from Pouliot all the more important.
They're going streaking!!!!
For the first time this year the Sabres have won back to back games. On Wednesday they'll look to match their longest win streak of last season as they take on a Columbus Blue Jackets team that has dropped two straight.