As the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres and the AHL's Rochester Americans, the Jackals are tasked with developing prospects throughout the organization. The Road to the Show provides details on how those prospects are progressing.
Buffalo Sabres (NHL) – The Sabres played three games in four nights against the top three teams in the Pacific Division, and took one of the three games. On Wednesday night, the trip commenced in Anaheim, where Robin Lehner made 28 saves on 29 shots, in his 100th NHL game. Alas, the Sabres were shutout, and lost 1-0. While it was not the result the Sabres were looking for, playing the hottest team in the league that is currently on an eight-game winning streak to within a goal is an encouraging sign for the future.
On Friday night, the trip continued with a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks, at the SAP Center. Chad Johnson made 24 saves and earned the win in his first start since February 12. Johan Larsson scored his third goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1 in the second period. In the third, Zach Bogosian’s fourth gave Buffalo the lead, and Evander Kane’s empty netter salted the game away for the Sabres. It was only the third time all season that the Sharks failed to earn at least a point when they scored first. The game also was unique as it was the first game in Sharks history where no penalties were called on either team.
Buffalo’s California Adventure concluded with a 2-0 loss in Los Angeles. Former Sabre, Jhonas Enroth made a rare start for the Kings, and shut out his former team, his seventh career shutout. Robin Lehner also played very well as he stopped 33 of 35 shots taken by the Kings, but Tanner Pearson was able to tally twice for division-leading Los Angeles. The Sabres played very well defensively throughout the trip and received great goaltending, allowing only four goals in three games. However, they were shutout twice and came away with only two of a possible six points. After the road trip, the Sabres remain in seventh place in the Atlantic Division with 57 points, and a 25-31-7 record.
Rochester Americans (AHL) – The Americans continued their pattern of alternating successful and unsuccessful weeks. Following three wins in as many days last weekend, the Americans lost both games they played this week, giving up fifteen goals in only two games. On Thursday night, in Cleveland, Rochester lost to the Lake Erie Monsters, 5-2. Jerry D’Amigo scored both goals for the Amerks, as Linus Ullmark gave up four goals on 29 shots and took the loss. It marked D’Amigo’s second two-goal performance of the season, while Nick Baptiste picked up assists on both goals, his third multi-point game of the season.
On Saturday night, in Toronto, the Americans were defeated by the Marlies, 10-5. The score was tied at 5-5, late in the second period, but the Marlies ultimately pulled away, scoring the most goals Rochester has allowed all season. Bobby Sanguinetti, Phil Varone, Evan Rodrigues, Matt Donovan, William Carrier, and Tim Schaller all had multi-point nights for the Americans. Former Jackal, Justin Kea played in both games for the Amerks. He is still pointless in nineteen games for Rochester this year, while he does have four goals and two assists for Elmira, in 17 games for the Jackals this year. Following a disappointing week, Rochester has fallen back into fifth place in the North Division of the Eastern Conference with a points percentage of 0.500, 55 points, and a 26-26-2-1 record.
NHL Trade Deadline Round-up – The Sabres were relatively quiet as the NHL trade deadline came and went on Monday afternoon. Buffalo traded Jamie McGinn to the Anaheim Ducks for a conditional third round draft pick. McGinn played 63 games for Buffalo this year, with 13 goals, and 14 assists. His 27 points ranked fifth on the team, at the time of the trade. The Sabres also made a trade that will have a huge impact on the Rochester Americans for the rest of the season. The Sabres traded the two leading scorers on the Amerks roster, Phil Varone, and Jason Akeson, as well as Jerome Leduc and a draft pick to the Ottawa Senators. In return, the Sens sent the two leading scorers from the Binghamton Senators, Cole Schneider, and Eric O’Dell, as well as Michael Sdao, and Alex Guptill to the Sabres. All four players have been assigned to Rochester. Finally, a former Jackal was involved in a trade on Saturday as well, as Niklas Lundstrom and a fifth round pick were traded from St. Louis to Edmonton for goalie, Anders Nilsson. Following the trade, Lundstrom has been assigned to the Bakersfield Condors, the Oilers’ AHL affiliate.