It took sixty five minutes and a ten round shootout, but when the ice chips settled in the First Niagara Center, the Sabres walked away with just their fourth home victory of the season.
After coming off a strong but ultimately fruitless performance in Montreal, the Sabres were again rewarded for their hard work tonight, controlling play against the Ottawa Senators for long stretches of the game, and overcoming adversity that on other nights (and under other coaches) might have done them in.
A quick whistle eliminated what would have been the go-ahead goal for Buffalo, but the Sabres didn't let it get them down, instead rallying to control the majority of the second period, where they tallied a whopping 18 shots. Yes, you read that right, the Buffalo Sabres recorded 18 shots in a single period - a total that had too often been for the entire game.
Mix in strong play all night long from Ryan Miller, who made 36 saves, and good chemistry from the new lines, and the end result was the small-but-feisty crowd in Buffalo leaving with a smile on their faces.
Girgensons scores again, and wins it in the shootout
Zemgus Grigensons' goal tonight wasn't as pretty as his power forward goal that beat half of Team Canada on Saturday, but he scored a Jochen Hecht Memorial Goal by throwing the puck at the goalie's skates from the goal line and getting the benefit of a lucky bounce. It's the type of goal the Sabres haven't been scoring this year, mostly because they haven't been shooting enough. That's two goals in his past two games for Girgensons, by the way, to go along with his 500 horsepower motor, and he scored a making-it-look-easy shootout winner in the tenth round to send the fans home happy. Think he'll keep getting more ice time under Ted Nolan?
Terrible whistle takes away Buffalo goal
The Sabres scored a beauty of a goal while Ottawa was under a delayed penalty, as it appeared that some combination of Luke Adam and Cody Hodgson jammed the puck into the net before any Ottawa player gained possession. However, the referee, who was out of the play, blew the whistle dead despite the puck clearly laying on the ice. Sabres fans and players were furious about the no-goal, but as per NHL rules, this is a non-reviewable play, and the Sabres imaginary lead was taken away.
Check out the video below:
1. Which of the Sabres brand new forward lines will find the chemistry the team so desperately needs?
2. Will Ryan Miller rebound from his self-critical performance last time he was on the ice?
Yes, Miller came back strong tonight, making 36 saves en route to a sparkling .972 save percentage, and while we've seen stronger skill competitions from him, he came up big in the shootout when needed most. Miller kept the Sabres alive in the third period when the team took their foot off the gas, and make a few saves of the "MILLERRRRRRRRR!!!!!!" variety.
3. Will the Sabres miss Ville Leino's puck possession skills, OR, can the Sabres control play tonight like they often did against Montreal?
The Sabres dominated possession in the second period, and ended up
1. Zemgus Girgensons - a regular goal and a shootout winner, plus the Carubba Collision, which carries significant weight around the league
2. Ryan Miller - 36 saves, and 6 more in the shootout
3. Christian Ehrhoff - Ted Nolan called his game "OK", one assist and five shots in over 27 minutes of ice time
Comment of the Game
ZEMGUS MOTHERF****** GIRGENSONS
- brett d
When is the Sabres Store offering their complementary nameplate change?