BUFFALO, N.Y. – Embarrassment for Brandon Montour and the Buffalo Sabres turned into relief on Wednesday night.
The Sabres ended their 18-game skid — the NHL’s longest in 17 years — with a resounding 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Rather than squandering a 3-0 third-period lead, like it did during a 4-3 overtime loss to the Flyers on Monday, Buffalo put it away by scoring the final four goals.
Montour capped the surge by scoring short-handed goals 37 seconds apart, the first into an empty net.
“It was a tough stretch. You never want to lose, especially the streak we had there. Everybody was talking about it,” the defenseman said. “Tonight, luckily we all played together and got the win. It was good for everyone.
It was Buffalo's first win since a 4-1 victory at New Jersey on Feb. 23, and ended an 0-15-3 streak. The slump was tied for the league’s 14th longest, and worst since the Pittsburgh Penguins had a 0-17-1 stretch during the 2003-04 season.
The Sabres also snapped a 0-9-2 home skid, one short of matching a franchise record set during the 1990-91 season. Buffalo won for just the third time at home, and first since a 4-3 shootout win over the Devils on Jan. 30.
Linus Ullmark stopped 31 shots and was greeted by a long line of Sabres, led by Rasmus Dahlin, after the final horn sounded in an arena without fans. Steven Fogarty scored his first career goal and added an assist.
The win was the first under interim coach Don Granato, who took over after Ralph Krueger was fired March 17 during a calamitous season likely to end with Buffalo extending its playoff drought to an NHL record-matching 10th consecutive year.