Leading the way for the Sabres were the young guns. Tyler Myers, Mark Mancari, and Patrick Kaleta all had big games for Buffalo.
Myers, who has looked a little flat since the Olympic break, had arguably his best game of the season. The 6’8” rookie had a career-high four points and was a career-best plus-four.
“It’s always nice to have a breakout game like that when you get that many goals,” Myers told the Associated Press after the victory.
After allowing several players to climb back into the Calder Trophy race for Rookie of the Year, Myers made it clear tonight that he was not going to let that slip away.
“He’s been an important piece to our team,” head coach Lindy Ruff told the Associated Press of Myers. “I thought even in the third period, he was just having fun playing.”
Also having a huge game for the Sabres was Mancari, who was playing in just his 13th career NHL game.
Mancari finished with one goal and one assist. He was also a plus-three for the game.
Heading into the game, Mancari had just three career points—needless to say, he picked the right game to step up.
Another key player in Buffalo’s win was Kaleta, who finished the game with six hits and caused a ton of problems for the Stars in the process.
Kaleta also took on tough guy Steve Ott midway through the second period after Ott took offense to one of Kaleta’s colossal hits. Kaleta landed several clean blows, won the fight, and then threw his arms up to get the crowd back into the game.
The Sabres’ Thomas Vanek scored just three minutes after Kaleta dropped the gloves with Ott.
Kaleta also managed to draw a penalty in the first period after running Stars’ defenseman Stephane Robidas into the boards.
This was the first time in recent memory that, despite giving up three goals, the Sabres really dominated the majority of the game.
There is no doubt that the efforts of Myers, Mancari, and Kaleta sparked the offensively struggling Sabres—13 players had at least two shots on goal for Buffalo.
With some of the veterans struggling, it’s nice to see that the Sabres can rely on the younger talent in a time of need.