Welcome to the first live blog of the season by yours truly, but certainly not the last. Tonight's edition is brought to you by green grapes and a game unfortunately not in HD due to Time Warner Rochester's general incompetence.
The game starts off with one of my favorite lines Vanek - Roy - Stafford that showed some serious potential when all the participants are healthy and clicking. Basically that accounted for like 15 games total, but I like where this is going.
I love the old logo in the middle of the ice. The only thing left to do now is to switch to the new 3rd jersey full time (plus a new fangled white version of course).
Boooooooo!!! Ugly first goal let in by Miller shot by Bob Lang from the right circle off a point shot from the defenseman Markov. The deflection of the Buffalo defense was unfortunate, but even though Miller kicked over, he was way off balance on what should have been an easy save.
Hmmmmm......apparently Timmy Connolly isn't playing tonight. Too bad. I was hoping to see him back in action. Instead, we get the services of both Adam Mair and Clarke Macarthur which should be interesting.
Great hit by Danny Paille to draw a penalty in the corner. I love to see our players getting down and dirty causing the other team to make stupid mistakes. That is the only marketable skill of Pat Kaleta and one of the reasons Paille is an up and coming contributor for our squad.
Not a great first power play for the Sabres. We couldn't get a lot set up in the offensive zone due to some sloppy passing and some nice clears by the aggressive Habs PK unit.
WOW! What a beautiful goal by Thomas Vanek to tie up the game at 1-1. That kind of patience and shooting touch on a nice two-on-one break will lead to a lot of goals for everyone on Vanek's line. This is what we expect to get from him on a nightly basis and hopefully this is the year we see it.
Pat Kaleta is showing what he is all about by keeping the his energy level high, hitting hard and drawing a penalty on his first shift of the year.
Four penalties in a very short period of time indicates to me that the refs are back to calling a tight game.....I wonder how long it will last this year before they switch back to letting everything go again.
Nice setup by Macarthur from behind the net to get a solid scoring chance to close out the first period.
More to come after the 2nd......
Despite the fact that a penalty was called against number 26 for the Sabres, I love to see that he was hustling for the backcheck. He looks quick and the added effort is promising.
Great work on the PK by Derek Roy and Danny Paille. The powerplay was held out of our zone and the tandem had a nice 2 on one short handed break opportunity.
Not that I watch most of the commercials on MSG (gotta love the DVR), but are we really going to see the Geico cavemen and the Labatt commercials every.......single.....break? Really? Let's get some variety out there MSG marketing! I can only take so many hilarious jokes about Billy Jean King and skating girls this year before I'll snap.
Paille has been a hustle monster out there all game long......I love his game!
Nice save by Carey Price following a backhanded pass for Pominville to Paille......Price looks really solid thus far tonight.
I like a lot of what I am seeing tonight with the play of the Sabres. The speed is evident, the loose pucks are getting sucked up quickly and the body is being thrown around liberally.
Great series of play by Andrej Sekera in the Canadiens zone. He showed some of his offensive acumen by winning a battle in the corner with his speed and then taking a nice shot on goal.
Tremendous work on the period ending PK by Buffalo's 2nd unit starring Jason Pominville and Andrej Sekera.
End of the 2nd period with score remaining at 1-1
Shot total is 25-18 in favor of the Sabres.....keep it up boys!
Solid shift by the Max - Kotalik - Mair line keeping the pressure on Price and the Habs defense with some forechecking and winning the battles on the wall.
Danny Paille with the well deserved Carubba Collision of the game after a crushing blow to Andrei Kostitsyn! Nicely done.....
After the Canadiens did some good work in the Sabres zone, Steve Begin took a couple of bone headed penalties to put the Canadiens down for 4 minutes....but the Sabres were unable to capitalize on their mistake due to a nice save by Carey Price and a PK that prevented any lengthy time in the Montreal end.
Nice save by Miller on a blast from Komisarek.......
A couple of a good sequences by the Habs with some scoring opportunities on Ryan Miller.......they are starting to turn up the heat now.....
Interference call off of a face off gives the Sabres a power play that stalls almost completely after constant pressure on the puck from the Montreal PK
OT in the first game of the year? Yes sir! I'm game.........
Amazing saves by a sprawling Ryan Miller on a couple shots from Roman Hamrlik to keep the overtime rolling.....
I was on the edge of my seat for the entire overtime and now we're headed towards the shootout......what a way to start the year!
First shot by our shootout specialist Kotalik........SCORE!!!! Using his patented backhand move, he put the biscuit in the basket to give the Sabres the lead 1-0.
Miller got over to the post to deny Bob Lang to keep the lead in the shootout
SCORE!!! Drew Stafford beat Price on an almost identical move to that of Kotalik
Saku Koivu is denied with a poke check from Miller and the game is over!
Thrilling game by the Sabres tonight.......my number one star of the game is Ryan Miller following a solid 3 periods of play and a stellar shootout performance.