Sabres vs. Flames recap: Groundhog Day in Buffalo as another solid effort leads to another loss

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The process is improving, but the results stay ever the same as the Sabres fell 2-1 to the Flames in overtime.

Haven't we written this recap before? You know, the one where the Sabres play a solid game, show improved effort and process under Ted Nolan, but ultimately go on to lose a one goal game because they just can't find the back of the net?

I've been at the last couple of home game, and aside from the wonderful emergence of future-plaza-statue Zemgus Girgensons and different jersey colors, I honestly can't tell the difference between today, the last two games versus Ottawa, or the Rangers and Devils games from last week. Who scored in those games? Did the team win? What was the major theme or story that came out of that game? Were we just watching the same game on an old VCR that kept messing with the contrast?

Don't get me wrong, it's great to see the team play like a somewhat-competent professional hockey squad, as opposed to the flaming Hindenburg that they were at the beginning of the year. But at some point, process has to lead to results, and so far, while the process has been greatly improved...nothing else has really changed.

Which might not be a bad thing - this is a rebuilding season, after all, and while it's fun to win games every now and then, it's also fun to get the #1 overall pick, which is really the goal here. The team is still safely in last place, which is oddly comforting to think about, and with upcoming games against Boston and Phoenix, that isn't likely to change any time soon.

It's Groundhog Day in Buffalo.

Just for the sake of effort, though, let's try our hand a recap anyway. *Ahem*

After stopping 25 shots though three full periods, it was the one that caught Jhonas Enroth off guard that ultimately doomed the Buffalo Sabres.

"I felt pretty bad tonight," said the Sabres backup goaltender, "On the last puck...just missed it." Despite his sour mood, Enroth actually played a decent game, furthering his own Olympic hopes, making 24 saves on 26 shots, with a few nice glove snares along the way. The first goal would have been tough for any netminder to stop, coming from behind the net on a quick pass, but the overtime goal was one Enroth would like to have back.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves, here. Through two periods, all that the fans in the First Niagara Center got a chance to see were a few posts and a whole mess of minor penalties. Throughout the game, Buffalo hit four posts, and through the first two periods, the two teams combined for a whopping 11 penalties, including a bizzarre sequence where Calgary had the man advantage thanks to a delayed call, then sent out two extra attackers and had a goal waved off due to too many men on the ice.

Things got a bit more exciting in the third period, as Matt Moulson potted an easy goal thanks to a beautiful rush and saucer pass through the crease from Zemgus Girgensons, who now has four points in his last five games. It wasn't long though until a pair of familiar faces tied the game, as Paul Byron found the back of the net off of a Chris Butler feed. Blame Darcy!

The overtime period was short-lived, as Calgary didn't want to allow the Sabres to charge up their ultimate attack by letting this one go to a shootout, and just forty second in to the extra period, Matt Stajan surprised Enroth with a quick shot, and it was all over.

Three Stars

1. Matt Stajan - game winner
2. Matt Moulson - game not-winner
3. Karri Ramo - the Sabres make another ho-hum goaltender look like a Vezina candidate

Comment of the Game

What a nice relaxing Saturday.

May as well ruin it by letting my favorite team frustrate me.

- ShugarPakket

Prescient.

Highlights

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