Big game, have to have these 2 points. Need Chicago to shut down AO and the surging Caps. Buffalo might have to get 15-16 points of these last 18 to grab a playoff spot. No time to let up.
Can't take this one for granted, TB on a 3-game win streak
I like this lineup, can't argue with recent success. Let's hope they keep it up.
Note: Food/beverage selection: Large cheese pie, w/ crushed red pepper; OV
Cheers to Time Warner for broadcasting home Sabre games in HD. 47" HD LCD, big speakers, and Rick Jeanerette and Harry Neal calling the game makes for good hockey on TV.
Great start by BUF. Winning face-offs. Building seems quiet for such in important game, maybe people didn't make it to their seats yet.
17:10: TB goal. Halpern rips a short side slapper from the left face-off circle off a bad BUF turnover and change by the D. Roy needs to recognize the change and get it deep, can't lose the puck on a poke check at the blue line.
Seems like TB is stick checking the puck away from our forwards a lot. Dump and chase if they're playing you tight.
14:30ish: Roy sets up Bernier in the slot, nice save by Ramo. Need to bury these chances.
13:50ish: Good burst up the wing by Max, good decision recognizing room to the middle and shooting. Another good chance.
Pominville sets up Hecht for a scoring chance. BUF getting their chances.
12:32: Pommer with another nice play, good pass to Hecht going hard to the net, draws the call.
BUF's PP needs to get set up early and maintain possession. Need to get shots on net from the point, look for screens/deflections.
Pommer on the point; I'm not crazy about putting forwards back on the point. NHL D should be able to shoot from the point.
Ramo 9 saves on 9 shots, good save on Bernier from the slot.
Big pile up in the crease, gotta get that puck in with Ramo down. Good to see Max showing emotion during the scrum; Halpern hit him hard and clean clearing him out.
10:00ish: TB on the PP after a short 4-4. Miller with a nice save moving right to left on Vinny.
9:22: TB goal. Deflection on a point shot. 4 guys in the slot screening Miller, looks like St. Louis makes a great deflection. This should stand. Buffalo couldn't get their sticks into the passing lanes; TB moved the puck around way too easy.
Stafford gets poke checked. Get it deep!
7:30ish: Decent chance for Roy. Good save by Ramo. This kid looks decent.
6:53: BUF goal. Pominville lets a hard shot go from the right wing, goes far side top corner, might have gone under Ramo's arm. He'd like that one back. 2-1 Lightning.
Buffalo needs to keep skating hard; they're getting their chances the goals will come.
4:20: Sekera moving the puck well, great break out. I really like this kid the more I see him play. Next year we'll be saying Campbell who.
3:40: Miller with a good ave on Darche. Miller needs to play well. Not so much GAA or save %, but definitely timely saves and no soft goals.
Boyle holds up Roy on the dump in. The league needs to decide what they're gonna call interference and what they're gonna let go.
Buffalo can't play from behind too late into this game.
2:50: Weber with good speed pulls away from the forecheck and skates the puck out of the zone. Good decision and good effort. He looks strong.
2:10: Kaleta gets buried in the slot by Smaby with his head down. He can take 'em as well as give 'em.
Buffalo starting to lose face-offs, could be trouble.
Miller with a big save on Vinny. Timely save. Can't go down 3-1 in the 1st.
Vanek looks to have some jump tonight. Just made a nice rush to the outside, didn't result in a scoring chance but he's moving his feet.
Great chance for Kotalik on the rush off the face-off, shot blocked by TB. Buffalo needs to keep skating and pressuring.
19:19: Miller with a huge save on St. Louis. An early goal against could have been disastrous.
19:08: BUF PP. Kotalik on PP. Again, I don't like forwards on the point.
Poor puck movement down low to start this PP. Use the points!
Vanek doesn't go hard to net on Roy's rush; possible scoring chance missed.
TB looks faster than BUF to start this period. Buffalo needs to skate!
BUF's young D look good. I like them in the lineup.
14:54: TB goal. Vinny. Horrible D zone play after bad turn over by Max. Miller commits to shooter way to early, down and out for easy open net goal by #4. Ugly. 3-1 TB.
14:15: 2 on 1 for BUF, Pommer doesn't get a shot off. Odd man rush off a TB turn over. Need to convert those!
Right now, Weber/Sekera are playing much better than Lydman/Tallinder.
Good pace to the game now around the 12 minute mark. This is good hockey, not a lot of whistles.
Buffalo's dump and chase is not working. Ramo is good with the puck and stopping their recovery cold. I need to see cross-ice dump ins to the corners. Punish their D.
The more I see the more I like Weber's play. Good composure with the puck in his own end.
Ruff is switching lines. Vanek and Bernier with Roy now.
9:10: Kotalik doesn't clear the zone. This happens way too often. Puck gets near the blue line but not out. That leads to goals.
BUF only has 1 shot 11 minutes into the 2nd. Unacceptable. Too much play below the goal line. They're not winning battles for the puck along the boards either. The effort isn't where it needs to be. TB just looks stronger.
Kaleta gets Smaby back with a good clean hard hit. That's how it should be.
BUF getting good pressure at times but no shots on goal. Can't score if you don't shoot.
BUF's dump in still not working. Bernier needs to be stronger on the recovery.
Boyle just ate up Vanek down the wing. Max digs it out to Vanek with an empty net; huge save by Darche I think. 3-2 would have been huge.
Weber almost with a bad turn over. Close call.
1:49: TB goal. Vinny strikes again. His line is killing us. Tallinder/Lydman look bad out there against them. Vinny beat Mair from his own zone. Both D on the same side of the ice. You'd like to see Miller get the pads stacked on that one. Almost did, but that's asking a a lot on Vinny all alone. 4-1 TB.
1:20: BUF PP. 4-2 going to the 3rd would be nice. Not hoping for much with this dysfunctional PP.
3 on 2 SH chance for TB. Way too many odd man rushes against on the PP this year.
Crowd not happy. The boo birds are out.
St. Louis on a SH breakaway. Just a horrible play by Max and Sekera along the boards; Kotalik going for new "wood" after snapping one on a the dump in. Kotalik also along the boards as St. Louis streaks out of his zone. Just can't let that happen. Miller comes up with a huge arm save at the end of the period. 4-1 is better than 5-1 I guess.
BUF not playing like their playoff hopes depend on these points. Miller is eventually going to have to steal a game if they're going to keep giving up chances like these. Top goalies makes saves they don't have a chance on. So far it's not happening tonight. And I like Miller. He's good enough to win a Cup with.
Did they just ice the puck on the PP? That just can't happen.
BUF isn't playing physical. Getting out hit 24-9.
TB not giving up many 2nd chances. They're clearing the rebounds away from Ramo well.
Another dump in not recovered. This isn't working.
Lydman makes a turn over, St. Louis with a chance, big save Miller. That's what he'll have to do here on out.
Seriously, stop dumping in it letting Ramo handle the puck. He is killing our dump and chase.
16 minutes to go. 4-1 TB. BUF needs to get things going soon.
I'd like to clone Sekera, Weber, & Pratt to make our 6 D. Does the CBA allow that?
Vanek with good tough work on Halpern. He's playing with drive though it's not showing on the score sheet.
Goose and St. Louis jawing before the face off. St. Louis with 2 nice cross checks on the Goose. That's bush, he'd never drop 'em with Gaustad.
14:57: BUF goal. Pominville right off the face off. Designed play, Goose wins in forward, pass to the crease, Pommer taps it past Ramo. Good strong play by both. TB 4-2.
14:41: BUF goal. Hecht with a nice top shelf shot. Beat Vinny out of the corner. Another strong play. The crowd is back into it. TB 4-3.
Lots of time left. They can't let up and play it safe. This is where they need to turn it on and win this game. The next goal is huge.
Stafford gets held up, no call. So far the officiating has been pretty good. I just don't like the no calls on interference.
11:35: BUF goal. Roy shot from the hash marks on the left wing. They're really starting to kick it into high gear. Shots on goal! About time. Vanek set up shop right in Ramo's lap. Doing the little things that don't show in the stats. 4-4
The Hecht-Pominville-Gaustad line is starting to take over. Another good rush and scoring chance.
Max makes another bad neutral zone turn over. I'm a Max hater but liked his play the first few games he was back. He's becoming a liability again.
BUF: 3 goals in 3:22. Why? They're shooting the puck! It's a simple game.
Vinny and just disappeared this period.
Lydman/Tallinder out there again vs. Vinny and St. Louis. I don't like it. Not much ice for Funk, and even Pratt. I want Pratt out there more.
BUF finally starting to dump it in to the corners and forecheck the D. Much needed adjustment.
6:46: BUF goal. Vanek. Another strong play by a BUF forward. Roy gets it started with a nice steal in the corner. Vanek is one of the best in the slot with traffic. Great balance, uses his feet, smart play to come back short side. BUF 5-4.
HSBC Arena finally rocking.
Down 3 headed into the 3rd and fighting back with 4 unanswered shows this team has heart. Not what you want to see every night but good to see they have what it takes to dig down deep and turn it around. Gut check time. Have to finish the job and secure 2 points.
Lydman/Tallinder out against Vinny and St. Louis again. Good thing TB lost all interest in this game, I still don't like they way our top pair has been playing.
Bad turn over by TB on a bouncing puck. Roy in position to keep in in, nice quick, hard, high shot. Ramo no chance to control the rebound, Vanek bats in in for his 2nd. That's his goal. He's money in tight. BUF 6-4.
BUF keeping the pressure on. Bernier nice set up to Sekera going hard to the net on a 4 on 2 rush. Almost connected.
TB just disappeared this period. They have nothing to play for but they should be embarrassed.
Miller still making good saves late in the game. St. Louis with a hard shot from the left wing.
1:45: TB pulls Ramo.
TB going on the PP. Nice to be able to ice the puck down 2 men.
Pommer needs to get that puck out. Doesn't matter, clearing attempt goes wide, Hecht gets there first, shots past Vanny for the empty netter. BUF 7-4.
Good night now!