Last night, the team with the worst goal and shot differential in the NHL took on the team with the best of both, and somehow won.
Well, "somehow" in the sense that San Jose actually won the game in overtime, but the referee waived the play dead and nobody bothered to review a puck that was clearly past Ryan Miller and over the goal line. Watch the video from the Comcast feed and see for yourself:
As a Sabres fan who's currently sitting through quite possibly the worst season in franchise history, I'll take a Buffalo win however they can get it, even if few people in Western New York saw the game thanks to a 10:30 EST start time. But still, with the video review technology and rules that the league employs, this should not have happened.
Sharks dominant in shot differential, faceoffs
The Sabres were once again outshot by their opponent 51-36 (and the Corsi stats are even uglier) and were dominated in the faceoff circle by a 51-27 margin. When we said "steal a win" in the headline, we meant it.
Sabres hold on in third
This game had all the makings of another heartbreaker where the Sabres enter the third period with a lead, go in to turtle mode, get dominated all period, and come out on the wrong end of a comeback. But despite losing the lead and heading to overtime tied 4-4, it felt like a victory for Buffalo thanks to a momentum swing for San Jose and a rocking atmosphere at the Shark Tank.
After taking a 3-1 lead, the Sabres quickly gave up two goals, and could have entered "here we go again" mode. However, they held tight, and even retook the lead on a Henrik Tallinder goal. It wasn't the dominant game-closing performance that you'd like, but for the NHL's still-worst team, it's a baby step in the right direction.
1.) Can the Sabres overcome the west coast time change and come out of the gate with any kind of pep in their step?
Kinda - while the team was still outshot 16-10 in the opening frame and left the first down 1-0, they looked halfway decent in what was one of their most difficult matchups of the year. The second period was really where things turned around, with Buffalo even in shots with SJ, and outscoring them 2-0.
2.) How will the special teams match up tonight?
Very well, actually. The Sabres scored the only power play goal of the night, going 1-for-3, while stopping the Sharks on all four of their chances with the man advantage.
3.) Which player will grow the best mustache?
It's too early to tell. Keep your browser locked to DBTB for extensive team mustache coverage all month.
2. - one goal, sounds like a Rugrats character
3. - 1 goal, 1 assist, 6 shots, 3 hits
Comment of the Game
If the Sabres win
and no one was watching, does it make a sound?
Wait… I think I messed that up.
No, the Sharks did.
Courtesy of Sabres.com