Sabres Rebound For Win Over Montreal
On Wednesday night in their final home game of the season the Buffalo Sabres put in a much better effort than the abysmal performance two nights before. And again the Sabres proved when they put their minds to it and play for an entire 60 minutes than they can compete and beat some of the best teams in the league.
The Sabres built a 2-0 lead on the Montreal Canadiens and held on for a 2-1 win on Fan Appreciation Night. Rasmus Ristolainen scored in the first period on a long shot from the point and Tyler Ennis scored in the second period when he picked up a loose puck in front of the Montreal net and fired it home against Carey Price.
The Canadiens scored in the first minute of the third period to cut the lead to one, but the Sabres played solid defense to keep the shots down and Robin Lehner was excellent in stopping 31 of 32 shots to help end Montreal's five-game winning streak in a meaningless game for both teams. The Canadiens clinched first place in the Atlantic Division last Monday while the Sabres sealed their fate weeks ago, guaranteeing their 6th straight season out of the playoffs.
A more important story was word that the Sabres' Kyle Okposo has been admitted to Buffalo General Hospital for treatment of an illness he's been dealing with for over a week. He played two games after sitting out 10 games with a rib injury, but he was too ill to play against Columbus last week and hasn't recovered.
The Sabres put out a statement that "Kyle continues to be under the care of our doctors as he deals with symptoms from an illness. Out of respect to Kyle and his family, we will have no further comment at this time."
Because of HEPA laws, none of the Sabres or coach Dan Balsyma were able to comment on the situation other than to say he has their full support and they wish him well.
The Sabres close the season with road games this weekend in Tampa Bay and in Florida.