Game 41: Sabres Don’t Allow Three Goals, but Still Lose

The effort was better tonight, especially in goal, but at the end of the night, the Sabres still found themselves on the short-end of the stick, losing to fellow playoff contender, Winnipeg in overtime, 2-1.

 

1st Period: Buffalo started off with two very impressive shifts that really generated some momentum for them, despite the fact that they didn’t score at all. That effort and work led to a power play chance for the Sabres very early on. The Sabres looked dangerous during the first part of it, but tapered off towards the end. After the power play ended, Winnipeg seemed to regain enough momentum to tilt the ice more towards a stalemate. Vanek got drilled in the family jewels by Myers’ shot during the power play. He did come back after that and took his regular shift, but went to the locker room afterwards. From there, I didn’t think either team create much in terms of scoring chances despite the end-to-end action. Evander Kane had the best chance of the period. Enroth was caught out of position and all Kane had to do was do a wrap-around to score. Enroth hooked Kane to prevent the chance though and was penalized for it, giving the Jets their first power play with about 5:30 left in the period. Buffalo did a great job killing the penalty to keep the game scoreless and that’s how it would remain going into the 2nd.

 

2nd Period: Pat Kaleta got the ball rolling in the wrong direction for the Sabres by taking an interference penalty against Evander Kane. Once again, Buffalo did a good job on the penalty kill to keep the Jets off of the scoreboard. Both teams played each other evenly after that for the next few minutes. Enroth made some very nice saves to give his team a chance to get the first goal. Around the 12-minute mark of the period, the Sabres had a flurry of offense that last for about two minutes. It didn’t result in any goals, but they did draw a penalty to give themselves another chance to score on the power play. The scoreless tie finally got broken during this time. Pominville took a bad-angle shot and Myers redirected the shot into the net to give Buffalo a 1-0 lead. After that, the Sabres had a bit of a hard time creating offense and the Jets picked up their game, which forced Enroth to make a few nice saves. Fortunately, the Jets saw it fit to give Buffalo a chance to regain some momentum by giving them another opportunity on the power play. The Sabres had a couple of nice scoring chances, but had nothing to show for it goal-wise. After a couple of minutes of offensive-less hockey for both sides, Jim Slater held Vanek’s stick to draw a penalty for the Jets. Shortly after, Jordan Leopold got a penalty to give Winnipeg a lengthy 5-on-3. With the period winding down, the Jets tied the game up on the two-man advantage and that’s how it stayed.

 

3rd Period: Buffalo killed off what remained of the Winnipeg power play to start the period. Winnipeg managed to keep the puck down in the Sabres’ end of the ice for the first few minutes before Pominville had a good opportunity to score on a one-timer, but he fanned on the shot. The Jets would take another penalty around the 13-minute mark, but the Sabres did nothing with the opportunity. The game progressively got chippier, but the offense was few and far between. Buffalo started putting the heat during the last few minutes of the game. Ville Leino thought he had a goal, but the ref lost sight of it and blew the whistle. No one else would score to break the tie, so the game went to OT.

 

Overtime: This period only lasted 57 seconds. After a turnover, Johnny Oduya found himself virtually all alone with the puck and roofed a shot over Enroth to give the Jets the extra point.

 

 

Quick-hit time:

-As usual, Vanek, Pominville, and whoever’s between them (Hecht tonight) are carrying the day for the Sabres. When are they going to get some consistent help from other players?

-Myers was great yet again. I’m very encouraged by these first two games that he’s had.

-It seems like it’s been forever ago since the Sabres had a good performance in goal, but Enroth finally gave the team one tonight.

-It’s becoming harder and harder as a fan to get up for Sabres games. When a fanatic like myself is saying that, you know that things are going bad. Losing certainly has something to do with it, but it’s the way they’re doing it that’s so draining.

-I’m not sure how long it will take for Darcy to find a compatible trading partner who is also interested in making a trade, but he damn well better pull the trigger when he has the chance to.

 

Game Scoresheet

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