OPINION: Sabres take over in Winnipeg

Eric Comrie gets the win in goal against his former teammates

(WGR 550) – The red-hot Buffalo Sabres dominated the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday to win their fifth-straight games. Buffalo was fast, and Winnipeg had so much trouble with the team's speed.

Eric Comrie faced his old team and earned his first win since Nov. 2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and he looked good doing it.

The 3-2 score doesn’t show how much Buffalo was in charge of the game. At the end of two periods, the score was 2-0 and the shots were 28-11, Buffalo.

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In both games against Winnipeg this season, the Jets couldn’t handle Buffalo’s speed.

Midway through the second period, Owen Power caught Connor Hellebuyck moving from side-to-side and took a shot that beat him to the post for his third goal in three-straight games.

The Sabres then pulled a passing play that had Hellebuyck sliding into the corner by the time it was over.

Jeff Skinner passed through the slot with a stretch pass to Alex Tuch. Tuch put the puck back into the slot to Tage Thompson, and all Hellebuyck could do was watch as he slid further out of the net.

Thompson had two points, and now has 10 points in his six-game scoring streak. His 68 points are fifth in the NHL, while his 34 goals are third.

Dylan Cozens had to leave the game after being butt-ended in the face by Jets defenseman Nate Schmidt. After a review, Schmidt got a roughing penalty.

Not only did Victor Olofsson take Cozens’ place on the power play, he scored to make it 3-0.

Comrie played well throughout and made some big saves of his own, but he didn’t give up a goal until Schmidt scored on a 6-on-4 power play with the goalie pulled, followed by Pierre-Luc Dubois’ goal during a 6-on-5.

The Sabres will finish a stretch of 13 games in 22 days on Saturday in Minnesota against the Wild.

With these five wins, Buffalo is 7-4-1 in that stretch. The Sabres are two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Wild Card race in the Eastern Conference.

The Sabres and Penguins are even in games and done playing each other this year. The seventh place Washington Capitals are three points in front of Buffalo, with the Sabres having three games in-hand with two more matchups remaining.

If you’re wondering about the Atlantic Division, the Sabres trail the third place Tampa Bay Lightning by eight points. Tampa Bay has one game in-hand on Buffalo.

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With a record of 12-2-1 in their last 15 road games, the Sabres are now 15-7-1 overall away from Buffalo.

Mattias Samuelsson was a late scratch with a lower-body injury on Thursday. Kale Clague stepped in, and played very well with a key blocked shot late in the game.

Don’t forget Saturday’s game against the Wild is a 9:05 p.m. EST faceoff.

Photo credit Losi and Gangi
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