From the Locker Room: Sabres-Lightning

February 28, 2018

The Sabres battled back on Wednesday to defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightning in overtime by a score of 2-1. Evan Rodrigues netted the game-tying goal in the 3rd preiod before Jason Pominville provided the winner in the extra frame, marking his first goal in 20 games. Hear from Rodrigues and Pominville, along with winning goaltender Chad Johnson.


Evan Rodrigues:

On the team effort: "I think we had all 20 guys pulling in the right direction. We didn't have anyone cheating on the wrong side of the puck. Everyone was staying on the D side of the puck, making sure the puck got out first and we stuck with our gameplan.

Sticking with the plan: "As the game wore on, we didn't try cheating for offense. We didn't have guys blowing the zone or anything. We all stuck to the defensive side of the puck. When you do that, you wear teams down and you finally get rewarded."

On hitting the crossbar in the 2nd period: "I just tried to let it fly. It went in and out pretty quick. Obviously one I wish I had back, but it was nice to get that one at the end."



Jason Pominville:

On snapping his goal drought: "I was definitely getting a little frustrated, but I don't want to show my emotions. I don't want to let my teammates know. But yeah, it was starting to get to me. I was getting looks, wasn't able to find a way to put them in. It was nice to have a chance to get out there and pull through for the guys."

Bringing more to the team than just offense: "I want to bring the other things, whether it's habits, practice, try to change the culture and get moving in the right direction as a team and as an organization. Even though I wasn't producing, I want to stick to the other things I did well, but yeah, it's nice to get one for sure."

On Housley's challenge: "He kept saying, 'Who's got it in you?', and we found a way to get one and stuck with it. I thought we had a lot of looks. Every line generated some chances and I thought we deserved maybe a little bit better. Their goalie made some nice saves and we found a way. It shows a lot about our team."



Chad Johnson:

Didn't let Conacher's goal get them down: "I thought we just stuck with it. We could have really felt bad for ourselves since we played such a good period up to that point, but we didn't. We just stuck with it, battled right to the very end and got what we deserved."

On using this win as a springboard: "This last little stretch here, a lot of guys have things to prove. Whether it's contracts ... whatever it is, there's a lot to prove. We're trying to build an identity all the way to the end here. I think you're seeing that now. We have to sort of build off this, feel good about the win, and just keep pushing and try to get better. You can't really sit back and just enjoy these big wins."



Phil Housley:

Glad to see Pominville get a goal: "You have to feel for him. He's had some really good looks. He had a good look off a pad earlier in the game. Things haven't been going well for him. He's been working his way, getting his chances, and they haven't gone in. So it's good to see him get a goal tonight and get rewarded."

Didn't let the early Tampa Bay goal derail us: "We didn't feel snakebitten at all, we were really playing a good solid game. I really liked the way we started. Our puck movement was some of the best that it's been all year."

On Johan Larsson's status: "He's fine. He had to go off because of the hit to the head and the protocol, but he's been cleared."