Game 67: Moving Up In The World

After a slow start in the first period, Buffalo really poured it in in the final two periods and capped off their effort with a goal in overtime to beat the Canes, 3-2. The Sabres moved into 10th place with the win.


1st Period: Myers got the game started with a bang by labeling Jiri Tlusty. The atmosphere at the arena at the start of the game was church-like compared to their last game at Winnipeg. The Canes would open up the scoring about three minutes in. Jussi Jokinen won the face-off and the puck went back to Spacek who shot the puck through a screen past Miller. Shortly after that, Myers would take a tripping penalty against Patrick Dwyer to give Carolina their first power play. Thanks to a very effective penalty kill, they didn’t get any scoring chances or goals during that sequence.

Roy got a decent chance to score around the 12:30 mark after a nice move, but failed to score. He probably could have gotten in closer if he had wanted to. Gerbe got between the two Canes defenders and was threatening to go on a breakaway. He got chopped down before he could do that though and drew a power play for Buffalo. Once again, the Sabres power play was lackluster and did absolutely nothing, so it remained 1-0, Carolina with just over nine minutes left. Myers laid another big hit later on, this time on Joslin. Vanek would draw another power play chance for Buffalo with 4:37 after being hooked by Bryan Allen. Unfortunately, it appeared like Vanek got hurt on the play. The Sabres did nothing with this power play chance as well. Not sure how it’s possible for a pro team to be this inept 5-on-4. Not much happened after that and the score would stay 1-0 going into the next period.

2nd Period: Buffalo wasted no time tying the game up. Myers blasted a shot that deflected off of Cam Ward off of the Carolina defenseman, Justin Faulk’s face into the net under a minute into the period . Jussi Jokinen compounded things by slashing Weber’s stick almost right after that. Finally, the Sabres would capitalize on the power play. Ehrhoff took a shot at the point that Vanek put into the net to give Buffalo the lead, 2-1. Kaleta would do some more good work and drew a boarding call to give the Sabres their 4th power play of the game. Cam Ward made a phenomenal save on Boyes in the slot. That would be the only good chance they got on that sequence. Chad LaRose got his revenge for the boarding call though and scored almost right after he got out of the box on a deflection of his skate to tie the game, 2-2. Hodgson did a horrible job on the backcheck and Weber made a terrible play in the neutral zone to set things in motion for the goal.

Roy tried to answer back a couple minutes later, but cranked his shot off the pipe. Leopold made an excellent play on a 3-on-1 against to keep Carolina from taking the lead. He was put in that position after Ennis, Hodgson, Stafford, and Ehrhoff got caught deep at the other end of the ice. One of the new guys, Sulzer took a pass from Leino at the top of the circle and hit the post with under eleven minutes to go. Vanek had a partial breakaway on Ward and missed high with just over six minutes left. At that point, Buffalo was outshooting Carolina, 15-4 and had hit two posts. Miller was called upon to make a rare save on Brandon Sutter a few minutes later. Nothing else of note happened and the score remained 2-2 heading into the 3rd.

3rd Period: Vanek-Roy-Pominville had a nice first shift to kick things off. About a minute and a half in, Jussi Jokinen high-sticked Ehrhoff to give the Sabres an early power play. Boyes and Vanek connected for a very good scoring chance, but Ward made the save. That was the only real opportunity to write home about on the power play and the score remained, 2-2. Stafford got a questionable holding call, given how the game was being called, which put Carolina on the power play. Roy would compound things by hooking Jussi Jokinen with 40 seconds to go in the original call. The Canes looked awful and pretty much killed off the two-man advantage for Buffalo. Stafford and Myers hooked up for a short-handed chance that Cam Ward saved. The Sabres would kill off the rest of the penalty with about 11:30 to go.

After a few minutes of back-and-forth play with not much happening, Jussi Jokinen hooked Leino to give Buffalo their 6th power play of the game. No goals came of it though and the game was still tied with only 4:30 to go. Roy almost got away to get all alone with Cam Ward, but got checked at the last second. Carolina would take yet another penalty with 54.5 seconds left. Bryan Allen took a pretty blatant hooking penalty on Leino. The Sabres were buzzing and threatened to win this thing in regulation, but it wasn’t meant to be. This game would go to OT.


Overtime: Buffalo still had a little over a minute left on their power play and they would finish the Canes off with it. Pominville took the pass from Ehrhoff and blasted the one-timer past Ehrhoff for the game-winner.


Onto the quick-hits:

-This game would have been a boat race if the Sabres could have finished better. Cam Ward made some really nice saves to keep his team in it too.

-Ennis was the best Sabres forward.

-The Vanek-Roy-Pominville line was actually really good.

-Alex Sulzer>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Gragnani just because he doesn’t cost with stupid mistakes. He looked really good out there.

-Myers was mean out there and seemed to play more instinctively.

-CoHo didn’t do that much in his first home game with Buffalo

-Leino was a beast down-low. You couldn’t take the puck away from him.

-The crowd was embarrassing. It was pretty quiet and it looked like many people were leaving early. C’mon people.


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