Marty Necas scored 1:30 into the overtime period as the Canes took a 3-2 overtime win over the Sabres tonight in Raleigh. This was a tight-checking, evenly-match game that featured solid goaltending at both ends of the ice. The Sabres got goals from Alex Tuch and Rasmus Dahlin.
Lukas Rousek rejoined the lineup tonight, while Jacob Bryson watched from the press box. Since the last game, Brandon Biro was placed on IR while Matthew Savoie was recalled from Rochester.
Antti Raanta vs. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (UPL) started in nets.
Jeff Skinner– Tage Thompson – Alec Tuch
Jordan Greenway – Casey Mittelstadt – JJ Peterka
Zemgus Girgensons – Peyton Krebs – Kyle Okposo
Victor Olofsson – Peyton Krebs – Lukas Rousek
Rasmus Dahlin – Ryan Johnson
Owen Power – Connor Clifton
Connor Clifton – Erik Johnson
Good start that tailed off
The Sabres got a good start and led the early shots 5-1.
A Sabres powerplay about six minutes in generated some zone time and a prime opportunity for Peyton Krebs, but Raanta made a nice glove stop.
They had a second PP opportunity, but this time they gave up a shorthanded breakaway… UPL with the clutch save.
The canes got a PP opportunity of their own and they connected at 12:43. Greenway was unable to clear the zone and Tony DeAngelo beat UPL with a wrist shot that might have been tipped.
Carolina took control of most of the play after their goal, forcing UPL to make a few nice stops.
Shots in the period were 9-6 for Carolina.
Hard-fought, even second period
The Sabres tied the game at 1-1 at 3:51. JJ Peterka battled the Carolina D and made a pass a pass to the front of the net while lying on the ice. The pass was picked off by the Canes, but Alex Tuch poked it away and beat Raanta with a quick rebound. No assist for Peterka, but the goal doesn’t happen without his hard work.
With Carolina pressing late in the period, UPL came up with a few nice stops to keep the game tied.
On the other end, Raanta made a really nice stop on an Okposo shot of a 2-on-1 with Girgensons.
A late penalty to Dahlin put the Canes on another powerplay. UPL with a couple of nice stops to finish off the period.
Shots in the second were 9-9.
The Sabres killed off what was left of Dahlin’s penalty to start the third.
The Mittelstadt line got hemmed into their own zone, the Canes cycled the puck well and Braydy Skjei put the Canes up 2-1 at 7:54. Really nice play by the Canes on that one.
One the next Sabres powerplay, Rasmus Dahlin with a great chip pas to himself to break into the zone. His shot from the circle handcuffed Raanta to tie the game 2-2 at 9:23. Tage Thompson and Casey Mittelstadt picked up the assists.
We saw a little bit of end-to-end action for the next five minutes or so.
The Sabres got a PP opportunity with 3:48 to play, but they couldn’t gain any possession in the offensive zone. The Canes did really well at standing the Sabres up at the blueline and winning the battles if the Sabres dumped it in.
No more scoring, so it was off to overtime.
Shots in the third were 7-5 for Carolina.
Canes take it in OT
The Sabres started the overtime period with Mittelstadt, Tuch and Power. While they had the early chances, once they lost possession, they were unable to get off the ice. So, they were completely gassed when Marty Necas tipped the Aho shot past UPL at 1:30.
Shots were 2-2 in the OT and 37-22 for Carolina in the game.
- This was a good road game for the Sabres. They limited scoring opportunities against a very good team and got solid goaltending from UPL. Tight games like this will be a great experience for the team as they move through the season. While I would have loved for them to get the win, I’m happy with them picking up the overtime point.
- As I mentioned, UPL was very good, stopping 24 of the 27 shots that came his way. It’s nice to see both him and Devon Levi playing well. Don Granato implied that he’d be rotating his goalies over the next few games. If they can both keep playing at this level, this team will stack up some wins.
- Ryan Johnson once again looked like a solid NHL defenseman tonight, often playing on the top pairing with Rasmus Dahlin. Once Samuelsson comes back, I’m wondering if Johnson will bump Jokiharju or Clifton from the lineup. He’s certainly ahead of Bryson in the D depth chart.
- With Matthew Savoie joining the team after his conditioning stint in Rochester, coach Granato said he’d like for him to get a few practices in before playing in a game. With the next game on Friday, I’d expect him to enter the lineup then, likely replacing Victor Olofsson.
- Both the Thompson line and the Mittelstadt line were good tonight, each creating several scoring opportunities.
- Alex Tuch has been great lately. After scoring twice against Toronto on Saturday, he put in another strong performance tonight. He’s the emotional leader on this team.
- Hopefully the team can get Dylan Cozens back soon. Without him, the team really doesn’t get any offensive push from its third line.
- As I’ve mentioned before, Olofsson just doesn’t seem to be adding anything to this team. Maybe he’s fighting an injury or something because he’s not even getting any shots away.
Catch up on all the Sabres results and upcoming schedule here.