Game 19: Rebounding on The Road

After a very disappointing game against the Devils, the Sabres found success on the road yet again and shutout the Carolina Hurricanes, 1-0 and played very fundamentally-sound hockey. The effort-level was sporadic, but they found away to get the job done and that’s all that counts when you’re playing on the road.

1st Period: Loved the first 15 minutes or so of the period. All the lines and d-pairings were really clicking in every phase of the game. The kid line of Gerbe-Adam-Tropp looked pretty good playing together for the first time professionally. Buffalo wasn’t rewarded with any goals at even-strength. However, the Sabres would score the first goal of the period on their only power play of the period. Boyes, Vanek, and Pominville combined for a nice cycle which ended with Vanek feeding Pominville in front of the net for the goal. The Canes failed to score on their only power play of the period. Things changed during the last five minutes though. Carolina seized the momentum of the game and start imposing their will on the Sabres in the offensive end of the ice and generated lots of offense. They wouldn’t score though and the Sabres finished the 3rd period with a 1-0 lead.

2nd Period: This wasn’t exactly a good period for the Sabres offensively. I think I could count the number of good offensive shifts the team had on one hand and they didn’t score on what few chances they had. Leino came close, but he had trouble getting the handle to lift the pick over Boucher on the backhand. Carolina built off of their late 1st period momentum and really took it to Buffalo in the 2nd period, peppering Enroth with 12 shots and sustaining plenty of time in the Buffalo-zone. Fortunately for the Sabres, Enroth was up to the task and the Sabres forwards and defensemen were all positionally-sound, clearing out rebounds, and blocking shots, which helped keep the Canes off of the scoreboard. Carolina also had a power play chance that the Sabres successfully killed off and the Sabres still had their 1-0 lead going into the 3rd.

3rd Period: Buffalo had a much better effort in the 3rd. The top lines of Vanek-Roy-Pominville and Leino-Boyes-Stafford picked it up offensively and had a good amount of chances. Boucher really kept the Canes in the game. On defense, the Sabres really choked off the Canes offensive game. The only time they sustained much on offense was on a power play that Buffalo killed off with ease. Carolina had 14 shots, but many of them were of the low-percentage variety. Shortly after that power play, the Boyes line drew a penalty with less than two minutes left in the game and that really sealed the game for the Sabres.

Here are my quick-hits:

-The Leino-Boyes-Stafford line was probably Buffalo’s most dangerous line at even-strength. After looking lost at center last season, Boyes has looked good in the middle during the time he’s been there so far. Leino and Stafford need more finish, but at least the effort and chances were there.

-Enroth rebounded from a mediocre performance against the Devils. Very nice to see that from a young goalie who’s known nothing but success at the NHL-level prior to that game.

-Regehr and Myers played together again and they played great shut-down defense like they did earlier in the year.

-The points continue to come for Vanek and Pominville. The Vanek-Roy-Pominville line was somewhat invisible at even-strength though.

-Not sure how the refs didn’t call a dive on LaRose in the 1st period. That was about as blatant as you get.

-Kaleta is usually the one blowing guys up with thunderous checks, but he was on the receiving end of one tonight, courtesy of Bryan Allen. I’ll give credit where credit is due. Great hit by Allen.

Scoring Per Period

1

2

3

Total

Buffalo

1

0

0

1

Carolina

0

0

0

0

Shots On Goal

1

2

3

Total

Buffalo

10

4

6

20

Carolina

8

12

14

34

Team Stats

Hits

Giveaways

Takeaways

Faceoffs Won

PIM

Buffalo

11

6

6

31

6

Carolina

22

11

9

31

2

Scoring Summary:

Buffalo- Pominville PP (Vanek, Boyes)

Carolina– None

Power Plays:

Buffalo: 1-for-2

Carolina: 0-for-3

Game Scoresheet

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