Another season and the same old disappointment. The Buffalo Sabres dominated the Montreal Canadiens for most of the game but dropped a 2-1 decision in overtime. The Sabres deserved a better fate tonight but the play of Carey Price, a controversial goal by Habs forward Travis Moen and a lucky bounce off the glass gave the Canadiens their second consecutive overtime win.
The Sabres started out fast with Tim Connolly giving the Sabres a 1-0 lead on the power play. Connolly fired a wrist shot by Price from the high slot after Rivet had his shot blocked by the Canadiens defenseman. Despite getting some opportunities the Sabres would be unable to beat Price again the rest of the evening.
The Canadiens first goal was a goal that was disputed by the Sabres and especially Ryan Miller. Miller appeared to make a save on Travis Moen but Moen crashed into him and forced Miller and the puck into the net. Replays showed that the puck was knocked in by Miller while he was getting pushed into the net by Moen.
Brian Gionta scored the winning goal for Montreal in overtime. Gionta showed some excellent hand eye coordination by batting a puck, that richocheted off the glass, by Miller and into the net. The Gionta goal came almost immediately after the Sabres had two or three great chances at the other end.
Rookies Looking Good
I thought that Tim Kennedy and Tyler Myers looked good for the first game of the season. Myers has an active stick and was in position most of the time. He didn't look any different than any of the other Sabres defensemen (except Henrik Tallinder who I yelled at a couple of times). Myers still needs to get stronger to be able to play against NHL players but keep in mind that he is 19 years old.
Tim Kennedy looked pretty good as well tonight. He didn't look too comfortable with the puck but he wasn't afraid to mix it up when he needed to. Kennedy looked especially good on the penalty kill which is an area that most rookies would struggle.
The future looks bright for both players but Lindy Ruff is going to have to decide if the future is now or later. Both players did enough to stay in the lineup and both players made mistakes. It depends on what the alternative is for both the team and the player. I expect both players to be in the lineup on Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Controversial Goal Sinks Sabres
Ryan Miller should have had a shutout. There is no doubt in my mind the Moen goal shouldn't have counted. Moen slammed into Miller after he saved the initial shot and the puck went into the net. This is a rule that has to be changed. What is the point of using instant replay if it can't be used to decide a goal like the Moen goal tonight.
If anyone can find video of the goal, please share it because I can't find anything.
Fourth Line Earning Keep
The Sabres only gola came on a power play but it was their fourth line that set up the goal. They used hard work to force the Canadiens to take a penalty and Tim Connolly made them pay for it. Patrick Kaleta was the only Buffalo Sabres player that did not play at least 10 minutes. He finished with 9:12 of icetime which is more than the Sabres fourth liners played last season. The fourth line never seemed out of lace tonight and would have played more if the Sabres remained ahead.
The power play started out fast but finished the game 1-for-7. They seemed to get worse as the game went on and even the goal was kind of lucky. Rivet had his shot blocked and Connolly was in the right spot to shoot the rebound.
The penalty kill was outstanding, killing off all six Montreal opportunities.
Harry Neale Quote of the Game
If you are new to the site this a new feature for you but if you have been here since last season, you expect this in every recap. After every Sabres game we select the best Harry Neale Quote and call it the Harry Neale Quote of the game.
"Rookies are like teabags, you have to put them in hot water to see what you have"
We started the season off nicely at Die by the Blade. It was one of better threads and Afino led the way with 51 comments beating everyone except me.
Roll Call: David Oleksy, Kooz, Afino, dfderie, Zachary Zielonka, HO, qdloser, kaisertown, ccthemovieman, cwel87, aaron in ny, J2, Jsz
Total Users: 13
Total Posts: 215
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Comment of the game
This will be another new feature that was inspired by Afino after he made me laugh out loud in the open thread. After every open thread I will pick one comment and make it the comment of the game.
Afino (in reference to Laraque and Kaleta exchanging words)
Yeah, if O’Byrne made him into hamburger, Laraque would make him into dog food.
SPG Game Standings
It wasn't a banner night for the SPG Game. Only bobsheppard was able to get any points and he had only one. The good news is that if you didn't sign up, there is plenty of time to catch up and win yourself a Sabres jersey.
The Buffalo Sabres are off until Thursday when the Phoenix Coyotes come to town. Make sure to visit Five For Howling to stay up-to-date on all the happenings with the Coyotes.