Huge huge huge huge huge awesome win for the Sabres. No, they didn't play outstanding, but their ability to get through the 1st period, score a couple goals in the 2nd, and hold on to the win in the 3rd against a division rival? Good enough for me at this point.
Yes, I think Canadiens really outplayed the Sabres. They seemed to have better control of the puck and were able to get shots off and get them on net. Miller continues being solid. I love the 4th line stepping up and actually putting up some points. Having Spacek back was also key.
Sabres are now tied with Philly with 61 points, taking up the 6th and 7th spots. Next team is at 63 points. The next two games are a home/away series with Ottawa -- I'm hoping the Sabres can hold onto their confidence and success and come away with two wins against a downward spiralling team.
According to Ek, there were plenty of scouts checking out this game. Let's see if there's any trade news coming up then ... http://www.hockeybuzz.com...-Play-NOW---Avery/1/19245
1. Sabres were outshot 37 to 22, getting only 5 shots in both the 1st and 3rd periods.
2. Despite Gaustad out of the line-up, the Sabres were only a little behind in faceoffs, winning 25 and losing 30. (Hecht was at 47%.)
3. Ellis and Stafford led the Sabres with 4 shots each.
4. Notable icetimes:
Vanek, 15:34 - lower than usual, he was the only player who ended up with -1
Kaleta, 13:49 - more than usual for the hard-hitter
Butler, 3:06 of his 17:25 on the PK
Spacek, 24:45 - led the team in his 1st game back
1. After the last post, I made sure to keep an eye on Craig Rivet. In the span of just a few minutes, he takes a relatively unnecessary cross-checking penalty in the 3rd period, gives the puck away when he can't keep in it the Canadiens zone, and misses a shot on net so badly that it ricochets back past the blue line. Again, at 3.5/year, he's the highest paid Sabre d-man.
2. Miller! If it weren't for his strong 1st period, I'm not sure the Sabres would've been able to hold on as well. And give some credit to the defence; even though the Canadiens seemed to have way better control when they had the puck than the Sabres, they were often kept to the outside. The only time anyone was left wide open was probably the Hamrlik goal.
3. Vanek is so hot and cold sometimes. After the hat trick in the T.O., he was sort of sloppy today. His icetime shows it, the -1 shows it, and so does the penalty he took (though the Hamrlik goal cancelled that out).
4. The fourth line is rollin'! I like that Kaleta's getting more icetime. He had a big-time check in the 1st period, picked up another assist on the Spacek zinger, and brings plenty of energy to the 4th line.
5. I like Weber.