It's a good thing the Buffalo Sabres have found their offense because their excellent team defense was no where to be seen tonight. The Sabres scored six goals for the second consecutive game and escaped with a 6-3 victory against the New York Islanders.
It looked like it might be a good night for the Sabres when Tyler Myers scored his first NHL goal just 2:47 into the game. The Myers goal was the direct result of great hustle from Daniel Paille who was playing for the first time this season. Paille won a race for the puck to negate an icing call ad the puck ended up in front of the net on the stick of Myers who backhanded a shot by ex-Sabres goalie Dwayne Roloson.
The Sabres took a 2-0 lead on a penalty shot goal by Clarke MacArthur. MacArthur was hauled down on a breakaway after getting behind the Islanders defenseman. MacArthur put a sweet move on Roloson and he easily slid the puck under him and into the net.
The teams traded goals in the second period but it was the Islanders that had most of the chances. The Islanders outshot the Sabres 19-7 in the second period but they came away from the second period still trailing by two. The Sabres received a power play goal from Tim Connolly and Jochen Hecht scored his first goal of the season with a bullet slapshot. Dwayne Roloson was replaced by another ex-Sabres goalie Martin Biron after the Hecht goal.
The Sabres escaped a horrible second period, maintaining their two goal lead heading into the third. Buffalo bounced back and played a good third period and added goals by Patrick Kaleta and Jason Pominville. It was the second goal of the season for Kaleta who managed only four goals all of last season. It was a milestone goal for Pominville who had been sitting at 99 career goals since the start of the season.
This was by far the worst game the Sabres have played as a team. They lacked the cohesiveness we have seen through the first four games and the Islanders had them on their heels all night. The Islanders piled up 39 shots on a team that was allowing 22.8 shots per game before Friday night. The Sabres had a 3-0 lead cut to 4-2 by the end of the second period after the Islanders dominated the period, outshooting Buffalo 19-7 in the period.
This game was slighly disconcerting but all-in-all it is just one game and we'll give the Islanders some credit. The Islanders have some really talented young players and they never quit through the entire game. They through some new things at the Sabres and had them chasing them around the ice all night.
I have said all along that Patrick Kaleta played a key role on this team. I just didn't know his role was to be an offensive force. Kaleta scored his second goal of the season on a rebound of a Daniel Paille shot and now has two goals and an assist for three points in five games. He has as many goals as Tim Connolly and trails only Clarke MacArthur and Thomas Vanek on the team. Oh yeah...he is hitting everything in sight too, but we expected that.
Myers a Huge Presence
Tyler Myers has a huge frame and we found out very quickly that he is a good player too. Myers scored his first NHL goal in the first period tonight and he added an assist for good measure. At this point Myers has a goal and three assists to go along with a plus-6 rating through five games. He is also playing over 20 minutes a game as a 19 year-old rookie on the blue line.
The game thread is becoming bigger and bigger and is also more and more fun every game. Thanks to all that joined us tonight and we hope to see you again tomorrow.
Roll Call: dfderie, clownfat, David Oleksy, Afino, qdloser, actioncuse, J2, Sean McG, twoeightnine, Andy Boron, kooldude, bluecollarbuffalo, davinci7584, boutros23, TEMSON, Joan O., cmat
Total Users: 17
Total Posts: 178
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qdloser and zaniac75 led the way tonight with two points each. There were many people with one point tonight. You can view the game stats here.
The Sabres get a chance to rebound from their lackluster defensive effort on Saturday night as the Atlanta Thrashers come to town. I will be in attendance at the game but I plan on being in the game thread.