Game 21: Revenge!…that fell short

After an awesome start to the game, Buffalo let the Bruins comeback from two different 2-goal deficits to win in the shootout, 4-3. Benoit Pouilot had the game-winner in the shootout.

1st Period: Fans got what they wanted about a minute and a half in. Gaustad dropped the gloves with Lucic and lost pretty handily. There wasn’t a lot of passion to the fight in my opinion. Both guys fought like they just wanted to get the fight over with. Later on, Marchand charged at Gerbe in the corner from behind which started a brawl in the corner and a fight off to the side with Chara and Regehr. I’ll give Robyn credit though, it could have gone worse with Chara. Buffalo would get a power play out of that whole scrum and Christian Ehrhoff would finally get one of his bullet-shots through from the point and score to make it 1-0 Sabres.

Drew Stafford would get the puck a few minutes later and make a great move to beat the Bruins defenseman to draw a penalty. Buffalo would score on that power play as well. Pominville broke into the zone with Vanek and Pominville passed it over to Vanek who used the defenseman as a screen to blow a shot by Thomas to make it 2-0. A couple minutes after that, Boyes rolled his ankle after Seidenberg fell on it and wouldn’t return for the rest of the game. The Sabres would kill off a Boston penalty and that was pretty much it for the first. Buffalo had a 2-0 lead and played as good of a period as you could have asked for as a fan. Loved watching Gerbe hit everything that moved. His hit on Seguin was the best one of the period.

2nd Period: The Sabres picked up where they left off and were playing very aggressively. Things changed a bit though after Tropp got a penalty for taking down Paille on a play that shouldn’t have even happened. The Bruins were offsides prior to the penalty. Boston wouldn’t waste any time and capitalized right away on the power play, thanks to a rocket from Tyler Seguin, which made it a 2-1 game. The Vanek-Hecht-Pominvile had an excellent scoring chance later on that was generated from a nice cycle. The puck made its way to Vanek who made a great move to beat Thomas, but Chara’s stick saved the day for Boston. Almost right after that, Stafford drove to the net and Thomas made a great save on him. I think if Stafford held onto the puck for a little longer, he would have had an easy goal, but it’s awesome to see Stafford actually using his size. Buffalo would eventually expand their lead though. TJ Brennan jumped into the play and slid the puck passed Thomas, who was committed to the other side of the net for his first-career NHL goal. To build on the momentum even more, Corey Tropp had a heck of a shift on the PK. First, he blocked a Chara shot that broke his stick, then Chara reloaded and Tropp blocked it again. Finally, Tropp finished off his shift by checking Chara.

Ehrhoff would take a dumb penalty shortly after that. He pushed a Bruin player’s stick away from him which is obviously illegal. Buffalo would kill off that penalty though. Vanek cranked a big hit on Marchand towards the end of the period, but Marchand would unfortunately have the last left. He would be the recipient of a fluky rebound which he roofed to cut the Sabres lead to one, 3-2. Andrew Ference and Stafford fought behind the net towards the end of the period because Stafford ran into Thomas. The ironic part is that Ference was the one who pushed Stafford into Thomas and he was the one who started the fight. No other scoring happened, so Buffalo still had a 3-2 lead going into the 3rd. Buffalo’s play was more of a mixed bag, but their effort was certainly more good than bad. The dumb penalties need to stop though.

3rd Period: Boston controlled play from the start of the period and the lead Buffalo had was gone within the first few minutes. Derek Roy was the victim of mistaken identity on a penalty call. The guy on Boston who was the alleged victim was actually the one who was holding Roy’s stick. Buffalo would get caught running around on the penalty kill and Chara would blow a shot by Enroth who had zero chance on the goal. Fans though that the Sabres had retaken the lead shortly after that, but Roy’s stick was above the cross-bar when he whacked it out of mid-air into the net, so it was waived off. Boston would continue to outplay Buffalo throughout the entire period and as if that wasn’t bad enough, they were getting away with all sorts of obstruction calls.

That wouldn’t end up mattering much though. This game stayed tied 3-3 and went into overtime. Buffalo got a power play inside the 2-minute mark of the 3rd, thanks to great work by Stafford and Gerbe, but they failed to score during the first 1:03 of the power play.

Overtime: Buffalo would fail to score on the rest of their power play in the period. They had a couple of good chances though. The ice was slightly titled towards Boston’s favor at even-strength, but neither them or the Sabres would score, so the game would go to a shootout

Shootout:

-Vanek would shoot first and he actually missed. Thomas made the glove save on him. Enroth was up to the task of stopping Seguin. He stood strong and closed up the five-hole on him.

-Gerbe tried to slip a low back-hand by Thomas, but he stayed with the shot. Peverley was next and tried to shoot high-glove on Enroth, but Enroth got a piece of it.

-Krecji went next to kick off the sudden-death shootout round(s) and missed. Roy actually had Thomas beat, but he couldn’t place the shot where he wanted to. Bergeron went after Roy and was stoned by Enroth’s pad.

-Stafford faired no better and was stopped by Thomas’s glove. Pouilot would the last shooter. He would score top corner on Enroth’s glove-side to give Boston the extra point.

…Onto the quick-hits

-Drew Stafford had his best game in a long time. He only got an assist, but he had a lot of great scoring chances that he created by using his size. Keep doing that Drew!

-Speaking of size, for someone who lacks it, Nate Gerbe was blowing people up tonight. He had 8 hits. The offensive chances were there for him too. Best player on the ice for the Sabres by a decent margin.

-Jochen Hecht had a very solid 1st game back. The Sabres definitely missed him.

-In Buffalo’s last three games, they had 44 hits combined. Tonight they had 39 hits.

-The refs were bush-league. They missed some calls on Buffalo early on, but the calls and non-calls definitely favored the Bruins overall. So much obstruction that was ignored. The stripes messed up badly on a couple of offsides calls as well.

-TJ Brennan had a very good game and looked more competent in his own end than Gragnani did. Awesome to see him score in his first pro game.

-The Sabres really could have used Brad Boyes in the shootout. That injury looked ugly.

-What was up with Lindy playing Ellis with Roy and Stafford? I thought Leino played fairly well.

-Brad Marchand is Nate Gerbe’s bastard-counterpart. It made me very happy to see him get decked by Vanek.

-Keep Tropp up here and send Adam down.

Scoring Per Period

1

2

3

OT

S/O

Total

Buffalo

2

1

0

0

0

2

Boston

0

2

1

0

1

3

Shots On Goal

1

2

3

OT

Total

Buffalo

16

6

8

4

34

Boston

12

13

12

2

39

Team Stats

Hits

Giveaways

Takeaways

Faceoffs Won

PIM

Buffalo

39

8

9

31

28

Boston

24

7

3

40

26

Scoring Summary:

Buffalo: Ehrhoff PP (Stafford, Gragnani), Vanek PP (Pominville), Brennan (Roy, Gragnani)

Boston: Seguin PP (Bergeron, Peverley), Marchand (Bergeron, Seguin), Chara PP (Lucic, Krejci)

Power Play:

Buffalo: 2-for-4

Boston: 2-for-5

Game Scoresheet

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