Sabres bounce Panthers

Three goals in the third period, including a shorthanded goal by Daniel Paille, erased a 2-1 deficit and propelled the Sabres to a 4-2 road victory over the Florida Panthers.  It was a much needed victory for team that was visibly frustrated and searching for an identity.  You could actually see a collective sigh of relief when the final horn blew.

Not all victories are pretty and this one certainly wasn't.  The passing was better, the defense was better, the goal tending was better and best of all they got a little bit of luck.  Luck is the way to describe the game winning goal scored by Drew Stafford.  Stafford took a shot towards Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun and it deflected into the air, Daniel Paille waved his stick at it but missed and it hit the back of Vokoun and went into the net.  If Paille had touched the puck it would have been ruled a high stick but the goal was allowed after being reviewed.

Ryan Miller had one of his best games after getting off to a shaky start.  Miller allowed a goal just 1:45 into the game on what appeared to be a harmless shot by Josef Stumpel.  Miller seemed to gain confidence as the game wore on and stopped all 18 shots fired on him in the third period.  Miller finished with 33 saves to earn the victory.

The win was the Sabres first on the road this season and improved their record to 1-2 on the cuurent five game road trip.  They will travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning on Saturday at 7:30 PM.

Pluses:

  • It was a monkey off the back of the team to get their first road victory
  • Ryan Miller turned a great performance, especially in the third period
  • Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman looked better
  • Ales Kotalik scoring on the power play
  • Daniel Paille scoring a shorthanded goal on a great effort and shot
  • Finally getting a bounce to go their way...luck goes a long way
  • Killing off seven power play opportunities, including two in the final eight minutes

Minuses:

  • Three penalties in the third period, when the game was on the line
  • The first goal allowed by Miller should have been stopped
  • Thomas Vanek failing to beat Vokoun on a clear cut breakaway
  • I could put a few more things in but it's a win so let's enjoy it for one night
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