Game 18: Road>>>>Home

Tonight was yet another subpar outing for the Sabres in front of the home crowd. There were times when the Sabres looked really good, but the good definitely didn’t outweigh the bad. Marty Brodeur looked like his vintage-self and helped the Devils win 5-3. It should be noted that Jhonas Enroth had a bad game tonight. I really don’t understand why this team can’t play like they do on the road at home.

1st Period: The Sabres had another slow start at home. Special teams played a huge role in this period and Buffalo was on the wrong side of most of it. Thomas Vanek actually made a nice play splitting the Devils D and drew an interference penalty. The result of the power play was a disaster though. Derek Roy did a horrible job manning the point and the Devils were on their way to a short-handed chance. Brad Boyes made a soft play that allowed the puck to get out to a wide-open Zach Parise who beat Enroth five-hole to make it 1-0 Devils. New Jersey would get a power play of their own shortly after that, thanks to a lazy penalty taken by Ehrhoff who had stopped moving his feet on the play. Kovalchuk took a pass from Patrik Elias and sniped Enroth for the Devils 2nd goal.

Buffalo would add a goal of their own on the power play though. The Sabres created a lot of traffic in front of Brodeur and the puck made it’s way from Pominville’s stick to Tyler Myers who was somehow all alone for an easy tap-in. Both Myers and Pominville were superb during that period. The 4th line of Tropp-Ellis-Boyes played well when they were out there too. Conversely, Derek Roy had a period to forget, making bad play after bad play on the power play. Speaking of the power play, one goal doesn’t change the fact that is was downright putrid. New Jersey’s PKers generated more offense than Buffalo’s power play during that period. With all of that being said, the Sabres were only trailing 2-1 going into the 2nd.

2nd Period: I actually thought the Sabres carried the play for most of the period, but that didn’t end up meaning much though. The Devils ended up extending their lead after Gaustad got cleanly beaten of the draw and Mark Fayne cranked a one-timer past Enroth who was badly screened by Weber on the play. Buffalo opened up this period with a couple of great scoring chances by Roy and Myers. Both of them missed the net though. There were a few other chances created by Leino, Stafford, Boyes, Weber, and Pominville, but Brodeur was up to the task and didn’t give up a goal. Marty looked like his old-self instead of just looking old during this period. The most notable play of the period was a hit Tyler Myers delivered to Dainus Zubrus. Myers did end up hitting him in the head, but it wasn’t really his fault. Zubrus put his head down while Myers was going to check him and the fact that Myers is 6’8 kind of factored into this play as well. Knowing Shanny’s inconsistency with the rules though, he’ll probably end up suspending him. The goal the Devils scored ended up being the only one scored in the 2nd, so fans were left wondering if the Sabres had another two-goal comeback in them?

3rd Period: Mike Weber got the ball rolling for the Devils in the 3rd, getting caught along the boards, leaving Patrik Elias all alone to blast a shot by Enroth. Ideas of a 3rd period comeback seemed bleak at this point, but Tyler Myers quickly changed that with a lightning-fast wrister from the top of the circle that beat Brodeur, cutting the lead to 4-2. The tables quickly turned though because less than a minute later, all five Sabres players were caught deep in the offensive zone and David Clarkson was off to the races and scored on the breakaway. Ehrhoff could have probably taken a good penalty to at least stop the chance by laying out, but he gave a half-hearted poke-check instead. Enroth’s night was done after that and Drew MacIntyre came in to relieve him. Buffalo would get a goal from Jordan Leopold to make it a 5-3 game, but it was too little, too late. The Sabres couldn’t overcome their sloppiness and inconsistent effort.

Quick-hit time:

-The Sabres may have lost, but there was literally a huge positive that came out of tonight’s game. Tyler Myers was fantastic. He was by far the best Sabres player on the ice. Loved how aggressive, confident, and physical he was. That is the guy the Sabres gave a fat contract extension too.

-Leino gets a lot of flak from Sabres fans, but he was really good tonight. He was actually pressing the matter with the puck and creating chances instead of just playing around out there.

-One guy who I haven’t seen get much negative press who absolutely deserves it is Drew Stafford. Where is the goal-scoring and effort the team paid him for? He’s been borderline useless out there when he’s not scoring for most of the season and that wasn’t the case last season.

-Luke Adam got demoted to 4th line duty later in the game. My guess is that he’s heading back to Rochester once Hecht and/or Ennis are healthy. I think it will be good for him though. He ‘s been a passenger out there, not a contributor.

-He’s had a great November coming into tonight’s game, but Derek Roy was awful out there.

-I’ve been clamoring for Weber to play more, but I’ll admit, he had an off game tonight. That will happen when you’re going up against Parise & Kovalchuk though. Lindy’s use of Weber has been questionable to say the least. The guy should be playing against mostly 3rd & 4th liners now, not elite forwards. I’d love for Weber to become Robyn Regehr jr, but he’s definitely not there yet.

-Brad Boyes has been quietly one of the Sabres’ best forwards for awhile now.

-Vanek and Pominville had strong games yet again, creating some good chances with solid fore-checking.

-Jhonas Enroth had a bad game and that’s ok. Those happen every once in awhile. I’d like to see people call him out on it though. The guy isn’t teflon.

Scoring Per Period

1

2

3

Total

Buffalo

1

0

2

3

New Jersey

2

1

2

5

Shots On Goal

1

2

3

Total

Buffalo

7

12

13

32

New Jersey

7

7

7

21

Team Stats

Hits

Giveaways

Takeaways

Faceoffs Won

PIM

Buffalo

20

7

7

29

8

New Jersey

22

9

8

25

8

Scoring Summary: 

Buffalo- Myers PPG (Pominville, Vanek), Myers (Gerbe, Ellis), Leopold (Stafford, Leino)

New Jersey- Parise SHG (Henrique), Kovalchuk PPG (Elias, Brodeur), Fayne (Henrique), Elias (Sykora), Clarkson (Greene)

Power Play:

Buffalo: 1-for-4

New Jersey:  1-for-4

Game Scoresheet

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