From the Locker Room: Sabres-Panthers

April 07, 2018 - 5:42 pm

A three-goal first period by the Florida Panthers all but sunk the Buffalo Sabres in their regular season finale on Saturday night in Sunrise, Florida. On the back of their strong start, Florida was able to withstand a late Buffalo attack and win by the final score of 4-3 at BB&T Center.

All three goals in the opening period were charged to Chad Johnson, who was pulled before the start of the second stanza in favor of Adam Wilcox. In his first taste of NHL action, Wilcox stopped all 14 shots he faced in nearly 40 minutes of playing time. The fourth Panthers tally came via an empty-net goal.

Casey Mittelstadt also recorded his fifth assist in six career NHL games as he helped out on a Jason Pominville goal with 4:30 left in the third period.

Go inside the locker room to hear from Ryan O'Reilly, Wilcox, Josh Gorges and Phil Housley following the loss.


Ryan O'Reilly:

Struggle to get consistent results: "We're just looking for results, but it's tough. We have moments where we figure it out, and others where we're far from that. It's what we've been doing all year. It's frustrating."

On breaking the season faceoff record: "It's special. It's something I take a lot of pride in. I have to thank my linemates and the guys I'm playing with. They help me push back pucks and work for those faceoff wins."



Adam Wilcox:

On his debut: "The guys did a good job battling for me. They knew it was my debut tonight and helped me out a lot."

When the news broke: "I was told I was coming in during first intermission and I really had to calm my nerves quickly before the game got started again. We almost came back too, good push from the guys. It was a really cool feeling, and something I'll always remember."



Josh Gorges:

Is this the end?: "I wasn't quite sure how emotional it would be. I was fine throughout the start. I talked to my wife and she just told me to take it as any other game and enjoy it. It kept my mind occupied until the start of the third period, and then from there I started thinking, 'what if this is it'."

Feels like a comeback, but not really: "It's not a recipe for success. When you get down by two, three goals, it's not a realistic situation to be in. Yeah, we made it close, but they were sitting back and coasting at that point with that kind of lead."

A look back at his tenure: "Four years ago when I came here, we set a goal in mind. We're here to help change this organization and get this team back to the playoffs. When you look back at these years, it feels like we failed in our endeavors."



Phil Housley:

On Gorges: "There's still a lot of fight in Josh. I totally respect a guy whose been through the wars. It wasn't easy for him to sit through long stretches of games but he was a warrior and a class act about it all."

Offseason decisions: "We really have to evaluate everyting that happened this year in all situations. We have to be a team that is better defensively, as well our checking. We have to realize that it's okay to win 2-1 or 3-2 sometimes."

On Wilcox: "Adam - what a great kid. He has a smile on his face every day, comes to the rink and works hard. It's a shame that he's going to be hung with a loss with this effort he put forth."


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