Game 37: Who Drank Jobu’s Rum?

Another game, another Sabres loss and another Sabres injury. Buffalo lost their fifth consecutive road game tonight against Washington, 3-1. Christian Ehrhoff was also injured during the game and will be out for “weeks.”

 

1st Period: Mike Weber literally started the game off with a bang by delivering a big hit on Jason Chimera near the corner of the Sabres end. Unfortunately, Weber hit him from behind and gave the Caps a power play chance. Personally, I thought Chimera turned himself into the hit. From there, the Sabres had some bad luck. McNabb missed on his attempted hip-check of Ovechkin who took the puck in and tried to pass the puck across the hash-marks. Much to Washington’s delight, the attempted pass deflected off of Ehrhoff’s stick past Ryan Miller who was already committed to the pass. Less than a couple minutes later, Joel Ward took a slashing penalty to give the Sabres a chance to answer on the power play. The only problem with that was that the Sabres were completely ineffective. After that, both teams played each other pretty evenly, despite Buffalo not getting their first shot on goal until the 12:40 mark.

McNabb took a hooking penalty on Alex Semin after he chipped the puck by him at the 9:30 mark of the first to give Washington their second power play chance. Later on, Jason Chimera got a little too close to Miller and started a mini-scrum in front of him, which resulted in Weber and Chimera getting into a grappling match; both players got matching penalties. Not much happened in the way off scoring chances for either team after that. The Sabres were playing a little better offensively though. With about three minutes left in the first, Troy Brouwer attempted to throw an elbow at Ehrhoff and he didn’t like that, so he dropped the gloves after the play and fought him. The score wouldn’t change during the remaining time in the period, so it stayed 1-0 Caps. It was nice to see the Sabres play well defensively and stick up for each other like they did, but the offense was non-existent. I don’t care how many shots Washington was blocking. You’ve got to find a way to get more than two shots on the other team’s goalie.

 

2nd Period: After a few minutes of evenly-played hockey to start  the period, the Caps would expand their lead. Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin combined on a really beautiful passing play which ended with Backstrom scoring an easy tap-in goal to make it 2-0. Derek Roy got the sequence started for Washington by not getting the puck deep and turning it over on a pathetically-weak pass. Christian Ehrhoff wasn’t on the bench at all during the period and did not return (just what the Sabres need: another injury on defense). Buffalo did pick things up on offense a bit after the goal, but they whiffed on the few good scoring chances they generated. Fortunately for the Sabres, they have Thomas Vanek who made a few different great plays to set up a shot for himself that Hecht finished. As you might have expected, the Sabres really picked up their play after their goal and ended up finishing the period up with 14 shots on goal in the 2nd.

 

3rd Period: The Vanek-Hecht-Pominville line came out with a vengeance to start the period, creating four different scoring chances and all sorts of havoc in the Caps’ end of the ice. No goals were scored though.  Washington tried employing a strategy that the Sabres have used many times to no avail most nights: sit back and hold on for dear life when you get a lead. Naturally, this led to plenty of Sabres shots and scoring chances, but Buffalo couldn’t buy a goal. It wasn’t just one line getting most of these chances either. All of them were pretty much on even ground in that regard. The Caps put a damper on Buffalo’s chances of coming back though. Backstrom and Semin rushed the puck into the Sabres zone, thanks to a turnover in the neutral zone and Ovechkin made no mistake finishing the play on the 2-0n-1 chance to make it 3-1 Caps. The scoring chances still kept coming for the Sabres, but they failed to even cut the lead to one, even after pulling Miller with about a minute left.

 

Onto the quick-hits:

-This team needs more finishers than just Vanek and Pominville. It would be nice if some other players who are counted on for offense could do more. I won’t name names. Most of you probably know who I’m referring to.

-Who gets called up for Ehrhoff? I’d like to see Schiestel get a chance. He looked really good in the glimpses we got of him before and he’s a better replacement for Ehrhoff’s skill-set.

-Ovechkin did a complete 180 from the last game he played against the Sabres.

-Luke Adam was pitiful.

-I felt bad for Regehr and Weber. They played very well outside of the backbreaking 3rd goal.

 

Time

1st Period Scoring

BUFF

WASH

1:42

A.Ovechkin (13) (PP)
Assist: T.Vokoun

0

1

Time

Penalties

0:27

M.Weber: 2:00 for Boarding J.Chimera

3:52

J.Ward: 2:00 for Slashing J.Pominville

10:27

B.McNabb: 2:00 for Hooking A.Semin

12:26

J.Chimera: 5:00 for Fighting M.Weber

12:26

M.Weber: 5:00 for Fighting J.Chimera

16:49

C.Ehrhoff: 5:00 for Fighting T.Brouwer

16:49

T.Brouwer: 5:00 for Fighting C.Ehrhoff


Time

2nd Period Scoring

BUFF

WASH

3:52

N.Backstrom (13) 
Assists: A.Semin, R.Hamrlik

0

2

15:02

J.Hecht (4) 
Assists: T.Vanek, J.Pominville

1

2

Time

Penalties

None

 

Time

3rd Period Scoring

BUFF

WASH

14:10

A.Ovechkin (14) 
Assists: N.Backstrom, A.Semin

1

3

Time

Penalties

None

 

Shots On Goal

1

2

3

Total

Buffalo

2

15

9

26

Washington

11

6

4

21

Team Stats

Hits

Giveaways

Takeaways

Faceoffs Won

PIM

Buffalo

19

4

8

27

14

Washington

25

12

7

33

12

 

Game Scoresheet

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