It was an unlikely victory for the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night against Florida. It wasn't surprising because the Panthers are a good hockey team but rather because of the way they won the game. The victory was a 1-0 shutout win with a power play goal scored. The Sabres power play has been awful on the road recently, in fact the goal on Wednesday was their first since before Christmas. In addition, Ryan Miller is not known for getting shutouts. It was just his second of the season and the sixth of his career.
After a rather uneventful first period the Sabres scored just 40 seconds into period number two. Thomas Vanek swatted a puck out of mid air and into the net after Thomas Vokoun made the initial save on a shot by Jason Pominville. The Sabres completely dominated the early part of the second period before Florida took control near the half way point. Ryan Miller was outstanding turning away 16 second period shots and 32 in the game.
The victory didn't come without a price as the Sabres injury parade continued. The newest victim to injury is Drew Stafford who suffered an ankle injury near the end of the first period. The injury forced Adam Mair to play on a line with Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy and seemed to disrupt some of the chemistry they have had.
The Sabres are back in action on Friday night against the Atlanta Thrashers at Phillips Arena in Atlanta. The Atlanta Thrashers suffered a major injury of their own on Wednesday when Ilya Kovalchuk suffered a knee injury as a result of a knee on knee hit with Jarkko Ruuttu. It is not known how long Kovalchuk will be out of the lineup but he will miss at least the next two games.