Today marked the first time that Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian returned to Winnipeg after their trade to Buffalo last year. Today also marked the first time that Drew Stafford, Tyler Myers and Joel Armia faced their old club. The crowd was thoroughly engaged during the game, and the crushed velvet and polyester track suits were on full display. A few thoughts...
The first period started rather quickly, as the Jets scrambled in their own end. Buffalo's Sam Reinhart scores giving the Sabre's the lead. Things settle down a bit, as the Jets start playing the body, with Adam Lowry, Dustin Byfuglien and Anthony Peluso (In for a scratched Mark Scheifele) throwing the body around. Every time Evander Kane touches the puck, the crowd roars. Drew Stafford' nifty backwards between the legs pass to Bryan Little, who shovels it forward to Blake Wheeler and it's tipped in. Tied game.
Onwards, and Tyler Myer's get a little too aggressive on Buffalo's Kane, and takes a holding penalty. On the ensuing power play, Sam Reinhart's shot is deflected off of Toby Enstrom's stick, past Connor Hellebuyck and the Sabre's are ahead 2-1. Gary Beyak at his best today - "Sam Reinhart with 11 goals this season, from the Reinhart family". Nah, really? Jet's Alexender Burmistrov is dumped like a sack of potatoes along the boards. Jet's Stafford had an excellent chance, but couldn't seal the deal. Buffalo's Weber takes a interference penalty giving the Jets a late period power play start.
Second period starts with the Jets on the power play, and Mathieu Perreault scores, tying the game at 2. Long delay as the Sabre's challenge the goal due to offside. After what seems like an eternity, the call stands. Byfuglien with a great pass to the Jets' Nikolaj Ehlers, who is in all alone. Sabre's Linus Ullmark with the save, but the Sabre's Weber plasters Ehlers. Chris Thorburn comes in , and Weber drops the gloves. Short scrap as Weber goes down. Jets on the power play due to the instigator penalty to Weber. Power play ends, but then Burmistrov takes a hooking penalty, so the Sabres go back on the power play. Byfuglien upends Evander Kane with a stiff hipper, and the crowd erupts with cheers and "Go Jets Go!".
Kane then turns over the puck, leading to Wheeler to go in with a shot. Sabre's power play ends. Andrew Copp takes a slapshot off the shins. That'll sting! Burmstrov couldn't get the pass to Ladd on a two on one. Wendy's commercial airs and I could really go for a Baconator right now...stupid diet resolution! Beyak expands upon the Reinhart family comment from earlier...if you didn't follow hockey, you would think his initial comment was weird. Lots of back and forth action. Myers gets back and disrupts a two on one. "Best trade ever!" chant going. Perreault hit by Sabre's McCabe and goes down awkwardly. Perreault helped to the dressing room. Wheeler takes a high sticking penalty. Jets kill off the penalty and the second period ends.
Kevin Cheveldayoff interview synopsis and summary - Jets good but could be better. Trade was good for team today and in the future. Trade deadline is coming, and we'll see what happens. Ladd and Byfuglien is a work in progress. 2 minutes of status quo and process!
Perreault is back to start the third. Lots of doopsy dangle, with Wheeler with the chance. Sabre's Ullmark with a glove save off of Jets' Chariot. Sabre's Marcus Foligno makes Hellebuyck pay on a juicy rebound, and it's 3-2 Sabres. Ehlers with the shot from the slot and Ullmark with the save. Kane flattened by Tyler Myers. Crowd rawrs again! Hellebuyck redeems himself with a save from a Foligno shot in close. 7 minutes left in the third period and the back and forth action continues, with no real highlights. Perreault shaken as he was dumped by Buffalo's Cody Franson.
With 3 minutes left, Byfuglien cuts in with the puck, but stopped by a paddle down save. Perreault is out and gone to the dressing room. Hellebuyck pulled with a 1:49 left. 6 on 5 hockey. Close call as Myers stops a puck from entering the Jets' empty net. Time out Jets with 50 seconds left. Evander Kane feeds Sam Reinhart, who dumps it into the empty net and the hat trick. After a review, the goal is good. Sabres win 4-2.
See you on Tuesday as the process continues against the San Jose Sharks.