The bottom line is that the Sabres earned a much needed two points but they can't be pleased with how they got there. For the second time this week the Sabres allowed a two-goal lead slip away. Tonight they managed to get a win in a shootout after failing to convert an overtime power play opportunity.
I want to be excited about the win tonight, I really do, but it's extremely difficult given the circumstances. Buffalo played a pretty solid hockey game until the final two minutes of the game. Clarke MacArthur took an awful penalty and the Islanders converted with under two minutes left to narrow the Sabres lead to one. The Islanders pulled their goalie and Chris Campoli buried a shot with only two seconds left to tie the game at three.
There were plenty of things that went right tonight as well. There was 58 minutes of pretty good hockey for the Sabres. They scored two power play goals on six opportunities. They stayed out of the box, being called for only three penalties in the first 57 minutes and 15 seconds of the game. Derek Roy was by far the best player on the ice for most of the night, although it is not reflected on the scoreboard. The third goal was a pure hustle goal, C-Mac was submarined at the blue line and managed to get back in the play and scored on a wrist shot that squeezed by Islanders Goalie Joey MacDonald.
Unfortunately, all that is overshadowed by the fact that this team can not hold a lead. This team has a ton of talent but they lack leadership and most of all, they lack a killer insinct. We can talk about what goes right and what goes wrong in the games but the fact remains that GOOD teams do not blow two-goal leads on a regular basis. It happens on occasion but this team seems to do it every other game.
Die by the Blade Three Stars
- Derek Roy - he only had one assist but he was the best player on the ice most of the night. It's a shame that he only played the first 58 minutes but so did the rest of the team.
- Clarke MacArthur - He too made a critical mistake with a dumb tripping penalty in the games final minutes but his effort on the Sabres third goal could not go unnoticed.
- Ryan Miller - He looked awful on the Islanders first goal and he was on his knees for the game tying goal but he made a couple of really good saves in the third period when the rest of the team went into a funk. Miller also stopped both shots that he faced in the shootout.
Harry Neale Quote of the Game
I'm starting to see a correlation between the quote of the game and a Sabres victory. It seems that when Harry has an off night, so do the Sabres. The Sabres squeek out a victory and Harry left us with at least one funny moment. It came way back in the first period and ccthemovieman made mention of it in the game thread comment section.
"That was like a fire hydrant at a dog show"
Do you think he sits up at night and dreams about what he is going to say in the next broadcast? He must because nobody could come up with so many good sayings on a daily basis.
The Sabres have a couple of days off before they welcome the Washington capitals to town next Tuesday. The Sabres will be trying to get redemtion for the loss in Washington on Friday night. I would expect that Miller will be back in net on Tuesday as the Sabres try to get a much needed two points.