Chad Johnson stretches out to stop Scott Laughton (via NHL/YouTube)
Buffalo netminder Chad Johnson made a miraculous blocker save on Philadelphia Flyers center Scott Laughton that preserved the game for the Sabres. Less than one minute later, Buffalo center Zemgus Girgensons scored the overtime-winning goal.
When Buffalo netminder Robin Lehner went down with a high-ankle sprain, Sabres GM Tim Murray decided that rather than go out and mortgage the future for goaltending help, he would stand pat and see what the duo of Chad Johnson and Linus Ullmark could do.
Since Lehner's injury, it's been Johnson who has taken the bulk of the starts. Though he hasn’t been spectacular, he’s been good enough to warrant the Sabres continuing to run with him between the pipes.
And against the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday night, Johnson was again steady, turning aside 30 of the 33 shots he faced, but his biggest stop came in overtime and helped the Sabres pick up their third win of the season:
That’s rookie Scott Laughton who was robbed by Johnson, and, as things tend to go in hockey, a big save at one end often leads to the game-winner at the other. Only 33 seconds after Johnson’s miraculous stop, the puck was turned over by the Flyers as they entered Buffalo’s zone and Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo flipped a backhand pass to send center Zemgus Girgensons in all alone:
Just like that, the Sabres went from inches away from defeat to snatching a victory away from the Flyers. Buffalo’s win put them to 3-6-0 on the season, and Johnson’s save will land him on highlight reels all over the world.