Game 24: The Home Struggles Continue

I shouldn’t be surprised that this happened, but it did. After an impressive effort on home ice against the Caps, the Sabres pulled a complete gag-job at home against the worst team in the Eastern Conference, the New York Islanders, losing by a score of 2-1.

1st Period: Buffalo had a decent effort, but the offense was limited, even with two power play opportunities. The Sabres were gaining the zone pretty frequently and making some nice passes though, so there was reason to hope that those things would translate into more scoring chances in the 2nd. Both teams had two power play opportunities apiece and as I mentioned before, the Sabres didn’t score on any of theirs, but the Islanders would score on one of their chances. P.A. Parenteau and John Tavares had a nice cycle going and got the puck by to Mark Streit who shot the puck through a ton of traffic (Ehrhoff, Regehr, Tavares, Moulson were all in front of Enroth) and into the net. Matt Moulson would later get credit for the goal. The highlights of the period for the Sabres were McNabb cranking Brian Rolston with a big hit, Zack Kassian pounding Matt Martin and making him give the ol’ “Missio,” and Vanek’s short-handed chance near the end of the period that bounced off an Islander skate and off the post.

 

2nd Period: This period was much more boring in terms of flow. The Islanders were trapping like crazy and limiting chances for the Sabres. Vanek’s, Leino’s, and Roy’s line each generated some decent chances, but none of them went in the net. Fortunately, unlike last period, the Islanders didn’t score, so the score remained 1-0 Islanders. The notable plays for the Sabres in the period included McNabb blowing up Frans Nielson in the neutral-zone, but caused a 2-on-1 in the process (time and place Brayden) and the most blatant dive ever by Andrew MacDonald to draw a penalty. Kassian was literally standing still and MacDonald just fell down. Thankfully, the Islanders didn’t score on it. On a much more serious note, Jordan Leopold sustained an upper-body injury and wouldn’t return to the game. Buffalo can’t catch a break with injuries this year. I can’t wait to see what it is this time.

 

3rd Period: The Sabres finally broke through against Montoya early on. Sekera sprung Vanek and he found himself on the half-wall with the puck and tried to pass it to Pominville. The puck bounced off a skate and went right to Hecht who was following up on the play and he slid it past Montoya who was way out of position to tie the game at 1-1. Enroth was a monster during this period, but he made one mistake and it cost him. The Islanders outworked the Sabres behind the net and Enroth lost track of the puck. Brian Rolston found the puck and slipped by the unsuspecting Enroth to give the Isles the lead back, 2-1. Leino, who played very well all game long, drew a penalty and helped send Mark Streit to the box. Shortly after that, Josh Bailey knee’d Christian Ehrhoff on the half-wall to give the Sabres a 5-on-3. Buffalo was about as inept as you could be with a 5-on-3 though and blew the opportunity to tie the game up. When you have a power play, the idea is to move the puck around quickly to get the PKers out of position instead of taking your time and letting the PKers move into the shooting lanes. They would have another golden opportunity to tie the game towards the end of the period. Ville Leino was standing all alone with an easy tap-in, but Gragnani’s pass was way too hard and he fired it between his legs, tying Leino up in the process. The score would ultimately remain the same, and Buffalo dropped yet another home game.

 

Quick-hit time:

-If this team had any sort of consistency at home, they’d be sitting at the top of the conference right now. How do you get outscored at home by the lowest scoring team in the league?

-Hecht may have gotten a goal tonight, but both he and Pominville were unimpressive. Vanek was carrying that line all night long.

-Poor Enroth. He made one mistake all night and it ended up in his net. It’s a shame because he had a really impressive game. Too bad the offense couldn’t help out.

-Whenever an NHL team has a 5-on-3, it should be damn near an automatic goal every time. The Sabres are almost the opposite with regard to two-man advantages and that’s completely unacceptable

-Another game, another defenseman injured. Hello again TJ Brennan!

-Nice to see McNabb and Kassian have another good game.

-Gragnani might end up being my least-favorite Sabres player ever. I wish he could play remotely like he did during the playoffs so I wouldn’t feel the urge to throw something at the TV everytime I watch him play “defense.”

-Sekera had an up-and-down game, but he was the driving force behind the Sabres only goal, so I’ll give him a mulligan.

-Stafford’s still as useless as ever and I haven’t like the way Roy has played for a few games now.

-Christian Ehrhoff had 32:48 of ice time. How he wasn’t the #1 star of the game is beyond me.

Scoring Per Period

1

2

3

Total

Buffalo

0

0

1

1

NY Islanders

1

0

1

2

Shots On Goal

1

2

3

Total

Buffalo

8

8

15

31

NY Islanders

6

12

12

30

 

Team Stats

Hits

Giveaways

Takeaways

Faceoffs Won

PIM

Buffalo

19

8

4

31

11

NY Islanders

15

3

4

24

13

Scoring Summary:

Buffalo: Hecht (Pominville, Vanek)

NY Islanders: Moulson PP (Streit, Parenteau), Rolston (Ullstrom, Bailey)

 

Power Play:

Buffalo: 0-for-4

NY Islanders: 1-for-3

 

Game Scoresheet

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: