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Mikhail Grigorenko probably had quite the whirlwind of a day yesterday.
After learning he’d be sticking with the Buffalo Sabres for the remainder of the season, Grigorenko scored the first goal of his young career on a nifty backhand to tie last night’s game against Toronto at three goals apiece.
Overall, Grigorenko had an OK game, with Matt Frattin’s first goal of the night due in large part to his neutral zone mistake on the Leafs’ counter attack. Nonetheless, being able to bounce back and make contributions on the offensive end is a big part of the NHL game, and Grigorenko did just that.
Although it likely won’t be the prettiest goal he’ll score as a Sabre, the quick backhand from the mid-slot off of a Mike Weber rebound – that likely should have been had by James Reimer – showed his hockey sense, especially with Jochen Hecht sitting on the doorstep.
Although he only played just over 10 minutes last night, look for Grigorenko’s role to expand as he becomes more and more comfortable with the system and his defensive coverage responsibilities, especially in the neutral zone.
The Sabres are off to play Boston tomorrow at TD Garden. Puck drop is at 7pm EST.