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) – Buffalo played four games in the last seven days with mixed results. On Tuesday, the Sabres played an exciting game in Detroit, which ended in a 5-4 loss, in a shootout. Evander Kane had his first multi-goal game as a Sabre, scoring twice, Zemgus Girgensons scored his second goal of the season, and Zach Bogosian scored his first of the season. Rasmus Ristolainen continued his breakout season, recording three assists in the contest. It was the first three-point game of the season for Ristolainen, who is now tied for the team lead with 14 assists. His 14 assists also rank ninth in the NHL among defensemen. Linus Ullmark made 42 saves, but was saddled with the shootout loss.
The Sabres lone home game of the week was a 5-2 victory over the Coyotes on Friday night. It was the fourth game in a row in which Buffalo recorded at least one point. Evander Kane scored a pair of goals in his second straight game to lead Buffalo to the victory. Beyond Kane’s two goals, it was a true team victory, as 13 Sabres recorded at least one point. Matt Moulson played in his 500th NHL game. The 32-year-old alternate captain is in his third season with Buffalo. Moulson has 158 goals and 169 assists over the course of his career, including 28 goals and 53 assists in 149 games as a Sabre. Moulson is also tied for fifth on the team with 11 points so far this season. The victory brought Buffalo to within one game of .500.
Unfortunately, the subsequent road trip to Western Canada did not get off to a great start. The Sabres lost in Edmonton, on Sunday, by the score of 4-2. Jack Eichel and Ryan O’Reilly each scored for Buffalo. They continue to be tied for the team lead with nine goals on the year. The following night in Vancouver, the Sabres fell 5-2 to the Canucks. Brian Gionta and Sam Reinhart scored for Buffalo, but it was not enough to overcome a Radim Vrbata hat trick for Vancouver. Jamie McGinn recorded an assist in the loss for the Sabres. He now has points in six straight games with two goals and five assists in that span. McGinn’s hot streak has moved him into fourth place on the team with 13 points. Following the consecutive losses, the Sabres are currently in seventh place in the Atlantic Division with 25 points, and an 11-14-3 record. They are six points out of the last playoff position, in the Eastern Conference.
Rochester Americans (AHL) – Rochester’s inconsistent season continued this week as the Americans followed up one of their most successful weeks with a pair of losses to the top two teams in the North Division. The Amerks hosted the first place, Toronto Marlies on Friday night, and were blanked 4-0 by Jonathan Bernier. Bernier was making his first AHL appearance since 2010 after spending each of the last five years in the NHL. Nathan Lieuwen made 34 saves in the defeat for Rochester.
Saturday brought the Americans to Albany, where they dropped a close 2-1 contest to the second place Devils. Brady Austin scored his first goal of the season for the Amerks. Austin played 66 games for the Amerks with one goal and nine assists last season. He also appeared in one game for the Jackals last November. Matt Garbowsky was recalled to Rochester on Thursday, following a one game stint back in Elmira, though he did not dress in either contest. Garbowsky has one goal and two assists in five games for the Jackals this season, while he has recorded one assist in eight games for the Amerks. Rochester is currently in sixth place in the North Division of the Eastern Conference with a points percentage of 0.477, 21 points, and a 10-11-1 record.