Sabres win it in OT, with a late third period run and a quick goal in the OT period to take down one of the last two undefeated teams in the league.
1. Buffalo was excellent at staying out of the penalty box, with only three 2-minute minors. However, Miller's mistake happened on the PK, meaning they technically let in one PP goal.
2. Buffalo was way outhit, with 13 hits to Minnesotra's 26. Clutterbuck led with 7 hits of his own.
3. Buffalo was again heavily outshot, 33 to 24.
4. Roy, Vanek, and Stafford picked up a goal and an assist. (Mind you, they all play on the same top line.)
5. With Edmonton's loss last night, there are no unbeaten teams in the NHL left and all tie-breakers broken, Buffalo Sabres are the top team in the NHL.
My three stars:
1. Ryan Miller
2. Derek Roy
3. Thomas Vanek
1. I knew it was Roy's time! After excellent defensive play, he picks up an assist on the first goal and then scores the OT winner by shovelling it in past Backstrom with chaos in front of the net. Stafford scored for the second night in a row with beautiful tic-tac-toe passing that went right through the Minnesota defence. Watch for Vanek's hot scoring streak to slow down a little and see him setting up a bit more.
2. Lydman and Tallinder playing together and kicking butt! I actually asked this question on Brian Koziol's post-game; yes, they are playing together mostly because Rivet is out, but Ruff's decision to rejoin the two has really paid off. At times last year, they were a defensive wall, but other times, they didn't do anything on the blue-line. Tallinder's hard-work on the OT goal behind on the Minnesota net led to Roy scoring.
3. Paetsch steps in for Rivet, almost scores a goal. (Well, he got the assist with Mair's deflection!) Good to know you're alive and doing well, Nathan. Keep in mind that Ruff is a little nervous playing him full-time though, as he only played 14:24, compared to Spacek's and Sekera's 25 minutes of icetime.
4. In a game that we Miller score on himself, no fighting despite some heavyweights playing, and our captain getting some surgery done, the Sabres pulled away with yet another win.
5. Say what you want about Max, but he was the one who made all that space for Vanek's goal, skating loops in the Minnesota end before passing it to Sekera. He won't show up on the scoresheet, but he's still playing great, albeit extremely restrained.
Why You Can't Discount The Sabres Even Though It's Only Seven Games Into The Season:
1. lol because I'm a biased blogger, c'mon now.
2. The team is on a rise, not reaching their peak and ready to come down soon. Three centers are out and the captain is out, all hopefully returning by the end of November. As Brian Koziol said, "It's a problem, but it's a good problem to have." They've been holding strong even with the rough-you-up fourth line of Matt Ellis, Andrew Peters, and Patrick Kaleta playing near ten minutes every game. Next, The top performers are performing well; everyone else is on the way to waking up. Vanek continues to lead with 8 goals, and the Miller-Lalime goalie tandem has been solid. Roy, Stafford, and Pominville all broke out their scoring abilities in the past couple games.
3. In the meantime, they are pulling wins from nowhere
, meaning it's not just "score fast and hope it lasts."
4. They have been playing and winning against the best teams in the league, including NY Rangers, Montreal, and Minnesota. They dominated the two teams that are lower in the standings, Vancouver and NY Islanders.