Game 25: Outclassed, Outmatched

The Sabres progressively played better as the night went on, but their execution was poor throughout and they couldn’t overcome a horrid 1st period start, losing to Detroit 4-1 on home ice. That victory gave the Red Wings their 7th win a row. I don’t think this is the kind of game the team wanted to play to kick off their December schedule.

1st Period: It was a pretty back-and-forth affair for the first 8 minutes or so with Detroit having a slight edge in play. Vanek and Gerbe both created some nice chances during that time. Kaleta would have probably had an easy tap-in on Gerbe’s chance if Fillpula didn’t come back on the back-check. The Red Wings would draw first-blood in this game, thanks to a shot from the point by Jakub Kindl that beat Enroth clean on his glove side. From there, Derek Roy took a lazy hooking penalty to give Detroit a power play. They did have some great movement on it, but fortunately they didn’t score. However, Detroit seemed to gain momentum from it and really took it to the Sabres at even-strength. Jason Pominville took an uncharacteristic penalty for high-sticking and Detroit would cash in on this power play. A wide-open Johan Franzen took a slap-pass from Lidstrom in the slot and ripped it home to give the Red Wings a  2-0 lead. Shortly after that, Jochen Hecht gave the puck away to Fillpula at the Sabres blue line and used Gragnani as a screen to expand Detroit’s lead to 3-0.  Later on,Vanek was forced to take a penalty on an odd-man rush because Gragnani got caught in the offensive zone and the Red Wings put on another clinic on the power play, but couldn’t score this time, so the score remained at 3-0 in favor of Detroit at the end of the 1st. I can’t say that there was one redeeming thing Buffalo could take away from that period. The defense and forwards were awful and Enroth looked shaky in goal to say the least.

2nd Period: Buffalo had more of the same kind of effort to start things off and then Zack Kassian had a great shift and drew a penalty to give the Sabres a power play opportunity. It didn’t look that good though and the Sabres failed to score. After that, Buffalo started to pick up the pace a little bit, which was good. About three minutes later, Abdelkader took a tripping penalty to give Buffalo another power play. Other than Stafford’s one-man show, they had no real scoring chances. Soon after that power play ended, Ehrhoff would draw yet another Detroit penalty and yet again, they did nothing with it. You’ve got to get at least one goal out of those three chances. The tables turned on the Sabres a bit though as they were on the receiving end of a penalty call, courtesy of a mind-numbingly stupid tripping penalty taken by Derek Roy. Once again, Detroit was moving the puck well and getting chances, but they had no luck getting it past Enroth. The only other chance the Sabres had during the period was a semi-breakaway that Vanek had and he cranked a slap-shot wide of Jimmy Howard and that was all she wrote for the period. Detroit still had a 3-0 lead. The effort was definitely better than the effort in the 1st, but the execution still stunk.

3rd Period: The Sabres took their effort up another notch from the previous period and were outplaying Detroit. Kassian had another great shift where he just dominated down-low and negated an icing. During the same shift, he got the puck to Gerbe who couldn’t find the back of the net, but managed to draw a penalty on Kindl to give Buffalo their 5th power play of the game. I bet you can’t guess what happened on this attempt. After yet another fruitless power play, Brayden McNabb had a  bone-crunching hits on Datsyuk and popped Abdelkader. Gragnani took a lazy hooking penalty to give Detroit another power play, but this time, the Sabres did a good job on the kill and even generated a nice scoring chance. Vanek and Gerbe teamed up on what was essentially a 2-on-1, but couldn’t seal the deal. Buffalo finally broke through against Howard with about six minutes left. Hecht and Pominville went in on a 2-on-1 and Hecht took a pass from Pominville and buried the shot to make it 3-1 Detroit. A little while after that, Gerbe took a skate to the face by Gaustad and left the game. Buffalo would not score again and Datsyuk scored on the empty-net to really put the game out reach, at 4-1.

Quick-hit time:

-Kassian belongs up here. Take a look at his shifts, especially the one’s mentioned in the recap. No one on this team or in Rochester can provide what he does down-low

-Ditto for McNabb who should play over Gragnani and Weber once everyone’s healthy. He’s looking to crush opposing players when he gets the chance. Buffalo needs more of that.

-Tough assignment for Joe Finley. He had to play his first pro game against the speedy and extremely talented Red Wings. All things considered, he had a decent game tonight.

-It’s sad when Jochen Hecht is the only guy on the team who can finish scoring chances in these last two games.

-Derek Roy’s was awful. Stupid, lazy penalties and no contributions on offense.

-Although he did assist on Hecht’s goal, I thought Pominville was awful tonight. Same thing for his linemate, Vanek. I’m not really going to get down on those two though.

-Rough night for Enroth. I thought he should have save the 1st and 3rd Detroit goals. He played better as the game went on though.

-Kaleta apparently reinjured himself tonight. Looks like Matt Ellis will play again if he can’t go tomorrow night against Nashville.

-Gerbe may not play tomorrow night as well because of that nasty cut he took. Tropp will probably get the nod if Ellis is already playing  for Kaleta.

Scoring Per Period

1

2

3

Total

Buffalo

0

0

1

1

Detroit

3

0

1

4

Shots On Goal

1

2

3

Total

Buffalo

8

9

11

28

Detroit

18

8

9

36

Team Stats

Hits

Giveaways

Takeaways

Faceoffs Won

PIM

Buffalo

16

10

6

35

10

Detroit

6

4

8

24

8

Scoring Summary:

Buffalo: Pominville (Hecht, Leino)

Detroit: Kindl (Holmstrom, Abdelkader), Franzen PP (Lidstrom, Datsyuk), Fillpula (Zetterberg), Datsyuk ENG (Unassisted)

Power Play:

Buffalo: 0-for-4

Detroit:  1-for-5

Game Scoresheet

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: