Game 15: A Hometown Beat-Down

Buffalo gave the home fans a real treat tonight, crushing Ottawa 5-1. Shockingly enough, the Sabres are 8-1-0 in their last nine games against the Senators. That’s really surprising considering that they owned Buffalo for so long. Jhonas Enroth stayed undefeated as a starter, moving to 5-0-0 and making 36 saves in the process.

 

1st Period: The Sabres kicked off the scoring early on. Derek Roy and Matt Ellis (yes, you read that right) scored 16 seconds apart to give Buffalo a 2-0 lead. Roy got his by following up on Drew Stafford’s drive to the net and Ellis scored on a nice back-hand shot after some nice fore-checking by him, McCormick, and Tropp. Following the second goal, the Senators pulled Craig Anderson and put in back-up goalie, Alex Auld. Ottawa would get their only goal of the night during the first on a residual 5-0n-3 power play, as in the 5-0n-3 had just expired when they scored. Sergei Gonchar took a pass from Erik Karlsson and ripped it passed Enroth to make it 2-1. Buffalo would get their two-goal lead back, courtesy of a Drew Stafford pass to a pinching Jordan Leopold who made no mistake with the shot. The Sabres would go into the 2nd period up 3-1. Other than the penalties, it was a perfect period of hockey played by Buffalo.

2nd Period: Compared to the 1st period, this period was pretty boring. There was no scoring and there was only one team doing any hitting and it wasn’t Buffalo. The Sabres had three power play chances in the period, but they had nothing to show for it. The 2nd unit moved the puck around nicely, something the 1st unit would do well to take some notes on.

3rd Period: This period would prove to be somewhere between the 1st and the 2nd period in terms of entertainment value. Buffalo would add two more goals during this period. Thomas Vanek made a great behind-the-back pass to Luke Adam who roofed it to make it 4-1. Buffalo’s 5th goal was a little goofy. Ville Leino took a shot that Auld got a piece of, but it popped up and fell behind him. Drew Stafford would draw the primary assist on the goal. There was only one penalty to speak of in the period and Ottawa was the team who took it. Buffalo didn’t score in the power play though. It was nice to watch a stress-free 3rd period after having to watch a couple of stressful ones during the previous two games.

Here are my quick hits:

-Contrary to what the shot total might indicate, Buffalo dominated this game from start to finish. Most of Ottawa’s shots were of the low-percentage variety. The defensive effort was much better and a far cry from the gong show that took place against Winnipeg. It was nice to see the d-pairings, especially Sekera and Myers rebound from sub-par (or in their case awful) games.

-Leino-Roy-Stafford has really picked up the slack in the scoring department after Vanek-Adam-Pominville cooled off a bit. It’s nice to have secondary scoring!

-Stafford in particular had a nice game, racking three primary assists and using his size to create offense.

-Not much was working for Vanek tonight, but he found a way to positively impact the game anyway with that nice pass he made to Adam.

-Enroth’s night wasn’t exactly stressful, but he made a few nice saves. The rebound control’s a bit of a concern, but he’s been a rock for the Sabres this season.

-Sad to see Corey Tropp go back to Rochester after having four good games in his call-up stint with the Sabres. Kaleta better stay on his toes or he’s going to lose his job.

-This is a topic for another day when there’s actually some sort of time-table on his return, but where does Tyler Ennis fit in this lineup?

-Overall, I didn’t think any Sabres player had a bad game. Everyone was solid and the chemistry was superb.

Scoring Summary: 

Buffalo- Roy (Stafford, Ehrhoff) Ellis (Tropp, McCormick), Leopold (Stafford, Roy), Adam (Vanek, Pominville), Leino (Stafford, Roy)

Ottawa- Gonchar PP (Karlsson, Spezza)

Power Play: 

Buffalo- 0-for-5

Ottawa- 1-for-4

Scoring Per Period

1

2

3

Total

Buffalo

3

0

2

5

Ottawa

1

0

0

1

Shots On Goal

1

2

3

Total

Buffalo

9

5

7

21

Ottawa

12

11

14

37

Team Stats

Hits

Giveaways

Takeaways

Faceoffs Won

PIM

Buffalo

8

7

6

33

8

Ottawa

27

7

8

26

10

Game Scoresheet

 

 

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