Calgary (11-4-1) vs. Buffalo (10-4-1)
What more could you ask for in this game? It's too bad these teams only meet once a season.
It was as advertised. These two teams played extremely well, making this game have the feel of a playoff atmosphere.
This game presented quite an entertaining matchup. Buffalo and Calgary have almost identical records. Ryan Miller and Mikka Kiprusoff are arguably the two best goaltenders in the NHL, at least right now.
Ryan Miller came into the game leading the league in goals against average.
In the first period, Daymond Langkow scored for Calgary on the first shot. The goal was Langkow's sixth of the season, which came just a minute and four seconds into the game.
Adam Mair fought with Brandon Prust, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
Patrick Kaleta went after Calgary's captain Jerome Iginla, earning both of them penalties.
Derek Roy put Buffalo on the board with a powerplay goal, his 4th of the season.
That was all the scoring in regulation. Both teams had many chances and Calgary adjusted to Buffalo's style of play. Miller and Kiprusoff continued to be solid in net.
Buffalo outshout Calgary 18-5 in the first period.
Buffalo then went over 18 minutes without recording a shot.
Paul Gaustad and Dion Phaneuf each got a fighting major, although no punches were thrown.
Both teams continued to go back and forth with plenty of opportunities, but the goaltenders shined tonight.
In overtime, Olli Jokinen received a penalty for tripping Tyler Myers. It was a questionable call, but Buffalo was on the powerplay. In the last two and a half minutes of overtime, Buffalo was firing shot after shot on Kiprusoff. Calgary was able to survive overtime and force a shootout.
Derek Roy was the first to score in the shootout, but Calgary came right back.
Jokinen would redeem himself in the shootout by getting a backhand by Miller.
The fourth shooter for Buffalo, Jason Pominville beat Kiprusoff to give his team the lead in the shootout.
It was up to Rene Bourque, who played well all game long, but didn't have enough to beat Ryan Miller.
Miller made the save and the Sabres earned their 11th win of the season.
Miller stopped 25 of 26 shots. Kiprusoff stopped 32 of 33 shots.
Thomas Vanek went almost unheard throughout the game. He totaled just under 13 minutes of total ice time, while rookie Tyler Myers collected almost 26 minutes.
Buffalo proved that they are able to beat the better teams once again. Although they had a tough weekend against Philadelphia and Washington, the Sabres have beaten Calgary, Detroit, and New Jersey already this season.
Buffalo heads to Philadelphia on Saturday night to take on the Flyers. While the Flyers had Friday night off, the Sabres beat Calgary in a shootout. The Sabres are 0-3 in the second game of back to back nights.
For any more Buffalo Sabres news and information view my website at www.sabreshockeycentral.com
Kevin "Off The Post" Freiheit