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5 Observations: Sabres storm past Lightning 2-1 in OT

5 Observations: Sabres storm past Lightning 2-1 in OT
Posted at 10:03 PM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-28 22:03:09-05

Despite trailing for the majority of the game the basement-dwelling Buffalo Sabres knocked off the league-best Tampa Bay Lightning with a 2-1 win in overtime. Chad Johnson stopped 21 of 22 shots faced while Jason Pominville and Evan Rodrigues scored for the Sabres. 

Five observations from Wednesday's win: 

Monkey off his back

At the end of the first period, Jason Pominville was robbed right in front of the net. In the second period, Pominville came oh-so-close yet again, only to just miss on a wraparound. Can this guy even buy a goal? 

Turns out he can. 

Pominville was saving the best for last. For the first time in 20 games, Pominville found the back of the net, giving the Sabres their fifth overtime win of the season. 

Johnson continues to impress 

In his last five games, Chad Johnson has looked like a different goaltender. After an underwhelming start to the season, Johnson has been consistently impressive and won four of his last five starts. Time and time again Johnson has said that he needed to stay positive and things would turn around. He was right and will likely get a bigger chunk of the remaining games because of it.

Making their case

Evan Rodrigues and Scott Wilson have been two of the lone bright spots this season for the Sabres. On Wednesday Rodrigues scored his sixth goal of the season and created several chances before finally finding the back of the net. 

Wilson was also impactful, setting up Ryan O'Reilly next to the net for one of the Sabres best opportunities of the evening. Neither Wilson or Rodrigues should be expected to score regularly but both are solid defensively and provide the offensive upside the Sabres need out of their bottom-six. Rodrigues is under contract next season while Wilson is a restricted free agent. I'd imagine Jason Botterill will do whatever he can to keep Wilson if the price is right. 

Better team won

Let's not get carried away.... 

The Lightning are light-years ahead of the Sabres in almost every aspect of the game but on Wednesday the team wearing blue and gold was superior. Yes, it felt weird typing that sentence. 

It's hard to believe the Sabres have knocked off the Lightning twice in the last 15 days. From start to finish the Sabres played a solid game, something we haven't been able to say very often this season. 

Fun February

Fun might be a stretch. If you can't tell, we're trying to look at this glass half-full. 

February turned out to be the Sabres best month of the season, finishing with a 6-6-2 record [14 of a possible 28 points]. That's obviously still not very impressive but when you look at the breakdown of the first five months of the season, February was by far the Sabres best stretch. 

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