It wasn't the way they drew it up but at this point they'll take two points anyway they can get it. It's fitting that they wind up winning in a shootout with Ryan Miller stopping 2-of-3. Despite dominating for much of the game it was a goal by the "Goose" with just 1:26 left in the game. If Goose doesn't score that goal we are singing a completely different tune right now.
Buffalo played with grit and emotion from the opening faceoff until going into the shootout. The Gaustad goal that tied this game up was typical of the way Buffalo played all evening. The Sabres simply outworked the Sens in their own zone and were eventually rewarded with the tying goal. The final hit tally was 24-24 but Buffalo set the tone early and appeared to have the Sens off their game. If not for some strange calls and non-calls the Sabres could have really put this game away early.
Tonight was quite possibly the best game of the season for the fans and media's favorite whipping boy, Max Afinogenov. He has been the whipping boy all season, and rightfully so, but when he turns it on (like he did tonight) he is a force on the ice. He was all over the place tonight and the Sens didn't seem to have an answer. He scored the Sabres first goal and what could be termed "an amazing goal". Max played over 19 minutes tonight and had five shots on goal while finishing a plus one. Ironically enough the Sabres seem to feed off Max because they are now 8-0-1 when he scores a goal. If only he could be the player he was tonight every single night.
Early this afternoon it was not certain if Derek Roy would play because of a charley horse he sustained in the debacle Tuesday night. Luckily for the Sabres he played and was effective. Roy had two assists for his team leading 22nd multi-point game. He also scored the game winner in the shootout, his first shootout goal on four attempts this season.
I was all ready to trash Ryan Miller for allowing two soft goals tonight but he was clutch when it counted. He made two or three outstanding saves in the final five minutes and another in the overtime. Miller has been terrible in shootouts this season but not tonight, stopping Antoine Vermette and a huge save on Daniel Alfredsson allowing Buffalo to earn the much needed two points.
What does the victory mean for the Sabres playoff hopes? Well honestly not much but they are still in it. The Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals both won so Buffalo was able to keep pace but not gain any ground. Buffalo has a chance to get another two point s on Friday against the Montreal Canadiens at HSBC Arena. The game time is 7:30 PM, I hope to see everyone here.