Game 75: Wiping The Floor With Those Rags

After an impotent first period, Buffalo turned up the juice on offense and cruised to a 4-1 win on the road against the New York Rangers. Tyler Ennis’ line led the way on the scoresheet.

 

1st Period: It was a pretty slow start. Through the first half of the period, neither team created much offense. The Rangers did have the slight edge in that department though. Miller was called upon to make a couple of good saves on Ryan McDonagh and Brandon Dubinsky. Buffalo’s best chance during that time was when Hodgson gave Tropp a feed out front, but he flubbed the shot.

Both teams only had eight shots on goal combined through 15 minutes. Foligno and Stafford ended up on a 2-on-1 with just under five minutes to go. Stafford took the pass from Foligno and appeared to have a sure-fire goal, but Stafford couldn’t elevate the puck over Henrik Lundqvist’s pad, so the game remained scoreless. During the last two minutes and change, the Rangers would spend a lot of time in the Sabres’ zone. Despite that, they didn’t get too many shots and Miller saved said shots. What little opportunities the Sabres had was basically one-and-done shots in transition. It would remain scoreless heading into the 2nd.

 

2nd Period: The Vanek-Hodgson-Tropp line got some good momentum going early. Puck possession was very goodand Ehrhoff took a shot with traffic in front of Lundqvist to create a good scoring chance. A little scrum ensued afterwards. No penalties were assessed. Turnbull would get his first goal in a pretty unconventional way. He took a hit behind the net as he threw the puck out towards the front of the goal. John Mitchell accidently redirected the puck past his own goalie to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead.

Almost right after that, Dan Girardi took a holding penalty on Pominville to give Buffalo their first power play of the game. The Rangers had the better scoring chances on the power play. Miller had to be sharp to keep the game tied. After a poor showing on the power play, the ref did a pirouette behind the Sabres’ net and fell to provide some comic relief. Buffalo continued to create plenty of offensive pressure. Hodgson’s line in particular looked very good. The Rangers seemed to be fatigued out there. That will happen when block a ton of shots I guess. Roy’s line tried a couple of tic-tac-toe passing plays to finish a couple of scoring chances. Lundqvist was doing his thing keeping his team in the game.

His efforts would rewarded at the 10:12 mark. The Rangers won a draw in the Sabres’ end of the ice and the puck found its way out in front to a wide-open Brian Boyle who put the puck past Miller to tie the game. Thanks to Ennis flipping the puck out of play in his own zone, New York got their first power play. Buffalo got a A lot of the possession was on the perimeter, so nothing really got going for the Rangers. About a minute after the penalty ended, Ennis, Foligno, and Stafford had a 3-on-1. Ennis fed Stafford who sniped Lundqvist to give  Buffalo the lead back, 2-1. Foligno’s backchecking was the catalyst for the goal. With about three minutes left, Tropp almost hooked up with Hodgson for another goal, but Hodgson was denied on the one-timer attempt. The Sabres would hold onto their one goal lead going into the 3rd.

 

3rd Period: Ehrhoff laid out Callahan about a minute and a half into the period. His next take-down would get him a penalty though. He ended up getting called for tripping Antem Anisimov even though he appeared to go down on his own. All that aside, the Rangers had a power play. They managed to get quite a few high quality chances to score on Miller, but they were denied time after time. After Miller got held up by Brandon Dubinsky in the trapezoid, he put the puck in the net. The goal didn’t count of course and Myers wrestled Ryan Callahan to the ice after the whistle.

With a little over eleven minutes to go, Marian Gaborik had a wide-open net to shoot at, but he whiffed. NewYork was really turning up the heat and was carrying play for the most part. Leino had an even more wide-open net to shoot at out in front and he completely whiffed. That came with just over seven minutes to go. After that, the craziest sequence of the game happened. Marian Gaborik found himself with another open net with Miller down and out. Ehrhoff dove into the crease and stopped the puck. From there, Miller was just trying to get up and get back into position as the Rangers continued to buzz around. Foligno eventually cleared the puck.

Buffalo would get their 3rd goal after all of that insanity. Ennis and Stafford had a 2-on-1 chance on Lundqvist. The former elected to hold onto the puck and shoot. His shot beat Lundqvist between the legs to make it 3-1, Sabres. That line would strike again two minutes later. Ennis would create a turnover at his own blueline and him and his linemates had a 3-on-1 going the other way. This time, Ennis passed it over to Stafford who finished the great scoring chance to give Buffalo a three goal lead.

 

Onto the quick-hits:

-What else is there to be said about the Foligno-Ennis-Stafford line? Unreal.

-They may not have gotten on the scoresheet, but Corey Tropp and Cody Hodgson were flying and creating out there.

-As of this post, the Sabres are all alone in 8th. Again, unreal.

-Rejoice brothers and sisters. Sylvester and Gare’s reign of terror is over.

-Miller was clutch and kept his team afloat when the game was still close.

-I wasn’t that impressed with Leopold and Myers.

-Sulzer continues to impress with his stable play.

 

Game Scoresheet

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