BUFFALLO, N.Y. [WKBW] — Despite squandering another third-period lead, the Sabres scored three goals in the final 2:55 of the game to top the Islanders 6-3.
Five observations from Tuesday's win:
For the first time since Halloween, Victor Olofsson scored a goal. And boy, did it come at the perfect time. Olofsson beat Sorokin with a wrist shot from inside the circle for his sixth goal of the year. For good measure, he added an empty-netter a few minutes later. You could see the relief on Olofsson's face after his shot found the back of the net and he echoed those same emotions after the win.
"This has been the toughest stretch of my career," Olofsson said. "I've been overthinking especially when I get the chances. I've been taking a second before I shoot the puck instead of going off my instincts."
Alex Tuch said Peyton Krebs has world-class talent when explaining how impressive his vision is. It's hard to argue after watching him on Tuesday night.
His pass to Victor Olofsson on the game-winning goal was perfect. But it wasn’t just the pass itself, it was the decision to hold onto the puck for an extra second instead of just fire the puck back to the blue line.
Krebs also made a great play in the final seconds of the second period. He fired a shot to the net that was redirected by Alex Tuch, giving the Sabres the lead. If he would've waited another second to send the puck towards the net, the period would’ve come to an end.
Krebs has been awesome and is living up to all the hype.
All the small things
If you look at just the box score, you'll see Tage Thompson scored his 16th goal of the season. What you won't see, is that Thompson forced a turnover that led to the shorthanded goal. Thompson has been arguably the Sabres' best player this year and is well on his way to his first 20-goal campaign. Sure, the goals are nice, but he's doing so much more than just finding the back of the net.
Samuelsson carving out a strong role
Early in the third period, Samuelsson was starring down a streaking Matt Barzal. I thought to myself, oh boy, this is going to be bad. But Samuelsson forced the Islanders' speedy center to the wall and took away his angle, turning it into a harmless play. I can't tell you how many times I've watched defensemen get burned in that same situation. What Samuelsson lacks in speed, he makes up for his hockey IQ. The towering 24-year-old only has played 11 games this season but is making it clear he's going to be on this team for years to come.
Partners in crime
Not to be outdone, I've been impressed by Casey Fitzgerald. Tuesday was just Fitzergald's 10th NHL game but he's quickly earned the trust of his coaches. It wasn't that long ago that Fitzgerald was more of a fill-in guy as injuries piled up on the Sabres blue line. Now it looks like he'll be a mainstay in the lineup for the rest of the year as he fights for a spot on next year's team.