BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - For the first time in more than 12 years, the Buffalo Sabres were victorious in Denver, knocking off the Colorado Avalanche 4-2. The win snaps a four-game losing streak as the Sabres get their seventh win of the season.
The #Sabres scored as many goals tonight as they had scored in their last five games combined. Nice win for Buffalo, they played well tonight.— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) December 6, 2017
Five observations from Tuesday's win:
At last, in the Sabres 28th game of the season, a defenseman scored a goal. If you had Jake McCabe in your office pool, you win!
A DEFENSEMAN SCORED A GOAL— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) December 6, 2017
THIS IS NOT A DRILL
Chances are, by now you know that entering Tuesday's game the Sabres were the only team without a goal from a defenseman. The streak is now over and maybe, just maybe, they'll start getting more production from the blue line. Scoring goals has been a problem for the Sabres all season and any help they can get from the blue line is huge.
Great start for Wilson
You only get one chance to make a first impression and for newly acquired forward Scott Wilson it didn't take long to make the most of his debut with the Sabres. All night Wilson was solid at both ends of the ice, making smart plays in the defensive zone and creating plays while on the attack.
In the first period, just minutes into the game, Wilson was called upon to help the Sabres kill a Jack Eichel penalty. Wilson was up to the task, intercepting a pass and squashing what could've been a great scoring chance.
Later in the period, Wilson fed Johan Larsson with a gorgeous feed in front of the net. In the second period, Wilson was parked in front of the net as McCabe's goal fluttered in.
It says a lot about Scott Wilson that in his first game with the #Sabres he's on the ice as they try to protect this lead.— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) December 6, 2017
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome backkkkkk
(That's Mase, by the way)
Wilson spent most of the night on a line centered by Evan Rodrigues, who also made his season debut with the Sabres. Like his linemate, Rodrigues looked calm, cool and collected in his return to the NHL. If you ask me, the Wilson-Rodrigues-Okposo line was probably the Sabres most consistent combination on Tuesday.
Rodrigues should provide the Sabres with some nice depth and versatility. He won't solve all their problems but he's a nice addition.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again
Evander Kane had golden opportunity after golden opportunity in the first 50 minutes of Tuesday's game. Several times he missed on chances he'd normally capitalize on until he finally found the back of the net, scoring the game-winning goal in the third period. With the goal, Kane now has 13 on the season, five more than anyone else than the Sabres.
They almost blew it
Didn't it seem like the Sabres were killing penalties the entire game? On home ice, Colorado is one of the best power play teams in the league. Naturally, the Sabres were called for six penalties. Although it proved to work in their favor after scoring a shorthanded goal to open the game, Nathan MacKinnon scored with the man advantage twice. Stop taking penalties!