Jets edge Sabres 3-2 Featured

Written by  Published in Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg, Manitoba (NHN)-Nikolaj Ehlers scored the game winner 8:12 into the second period to lift the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-2 win over the visiting Buffalo Sabres Friday night.

The win was their fifth in their last six games.

Cole Perfetti, Mason Appleton, Nikolaj Ehlers scored for Winnipeg.

Vladislav Namestnikov and Nino Niederreiter each had a pair of assists for the Jets.

Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves for Winnipeg, who moved to 9-5-2.

Alex Tuch and JJ Peterka scored for the Sabres.

Eric Comrie turned aside 15 shots for Buffalo, who dropped to 7-9-1.

There was no scoring in the first period.

Hellebuyck stoned Victor Olofsson in close with 3:07 remaining in the opening stanza.

Kyle Connor was thwarted on a breakaway with just over a minute left when Mark Scheifele found him floating at centre ice.

Cole Perfetti opened the scoring 2:12 into the second period when he took a drop pass from Vladislav Namestnikov just inside the blue line before moving into the high slot and drifting a high wrister past Comrie to make it 1-0 Jets.

“Little bit, yeah," said Perfetti. "I put an emphasis a bit more on shooting the puck, especially when the puck seems to be going in the back of the net. You know, they’re not all going to be pretty, especially last game, that was an ugly one. But puck’s going in the back of the net and I’m just keeping on trying to funnel it towards there. I think I only had like one shot tonight, but I think I would normally try to make that pass to Fly, but I realized the D was kind of in between us and I had the shot, so I took it and it ended up going in. So, yeah, the puck is definitely going in the back of the net for our line and it’s working. So, we just have to keep doing what we’re doing and creating chances.”

The goal was his 6th of the season and marked his fifth straight game with a tally.

Mason Appleton made it 2-0 2:11 later when he drove the net hard, put his stick down and Nino Niederreiter hit him with a hard pass from the side boards at 4:23.

The goal was his 5th of the season.

Alex Tuch replied 33 seconds later when Connor Hellebuyck poked the puck right to him in the slot at 4:56.

Tuch fired a low shot past the Jet goaltender to pull Buffalo to within one.

Nikolaj Ehlers floated a wrister from the blue line to restore the two-goal cushion at 8:12 that got by Comrie beating him high glove side.

The goal was his 5th of the season.

“Classic hockey goal, very well-rehearsed and practiced and exactly how we wanted it," quipped Ehlers afterward.

J.J. Peterka scored on a breakaway one minute into the third after he followed up on his initial shot and slid the disc past Hellebuyck.

The goal was his 7th of the season.

Buffalo pushed hard in the game's final minutes but were unable to score.

Sabres Head Coach Don Granato said the game was a blender of play for his club.

"The third period I will say for me was the culmination of everything to this point of the year and our guys finally decided to wake up and compete harder instead of waiting," he said. "Obviously I had a message for them unlike a normal message you would get after a period. I like they way they responded. But it's not what I say, they know. There's guys in that room they know they need more.".

Jets Head Coach Scott Arniel said they knew the Sabres were coming hard after the second period.

“You know what, there’s times I didn’t really like how we defended through the neutral zone with their breakouts. Third period, Dahlin, wow, he’s special, that breakaway. He was making one pass from behind his net and he was gone. I didn’t think we did a great job of clogging up the guts of the ice, and that’s obviously through the neutral zone and in our end. We need to be a little bit better at that, I think that’s something we make sure to look at. But we knew that third period, down 3-1 they were coming. They really were. It was a four-man attack. We had some clips, we were looking at some stuff after the second period where we caught four of their guys below our goal line. And they’re an offensive group. They’re going to go. And in that third period they really pushed us back on our heels.”

Winnipeg hosts Arizona Saturday while Buffalo visits Chicago Sunday.



Last modified on Saturday, 18 November 2023 04:34
Philip Paul-Martin

A well rounded journalist with experience in both print and broadcast mediums, Philip has written news stories with impact, broken national news while at the CBC, anchored radio news and hosted talk show radio. His coverage includes feature writing, game stories and more in-depth pieces during the off-season as well as writing about the National Hockey League and the Winnipeg Jets. He calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home.