The Buffalo Sabres opened their season with a closer-than-the-scoreboard says 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Here's some quick reactions from the First Niagara Center.
First Period Notes
- The game started off with plenty of sloppy play as the Sabres got their sea legs under them. Seems the lack of preseason games is in full effect.
- If Steve Ott plays every period like he did the first, Buffalo fans are going to love him. He scored on the power play, played the penalty kill, and notched two each of hits and blocked shots.
- In fact, the Sabres in general came out with more jam. To be expected after nine months off, but it was still nice to see.
- Flyers center Zac Rinaldo suffered a lower body injury and did not return.
- Stop me if this sounds familiar - the Sabres started the second period flat and quickly let in two goals in the first five minutes. That's gonna have to stop if this team will be challenging for a playoff spot.
- After a few rough shifts, Thomas Vanek puts in a beauty of a goal on the power play, faking Bryzgalov out of his shorts.
- A Sabre fought Scott Hartnell. I'll give you three guesses who it was. Go ahead, take your time. OK? I guarantee nobody guessed Drew Stafford. And he didn't totally embarrass himself! It will be interesting to see if this is a trend for the season or just a one-time deal.
- Drew Stafford fighting and backchecking. It's a new day in Buffalo Sabres hockey.
- Another shaky power play for the Sabres results in just as many Flyers chances as Sabres chances.
- After a nice point shot from Tyler Myers went in to give Buffalo the lead, Cody Hodgson scored a solid hustle goal off of a Vanek rush. Hodgson looked like he has the presence and physical ability to stick on the top line this season.
- Five points tonight for Vanek, the first star. He was, as Lindy Ruff said in his press conference, phenomenal.
More to come later tonight, but for now, let's all just bask in the glow of being undefeated.