Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Bad defense, poor puck possession, and a lack of scoring doomed the Sabres in a loss to the Bruins.
Both teams came out of the gate with some pep in their step, as the shots and hits were flying in the first period. Flying fastest, however, were the fists of Patrick Kaleta and Gregory Campbell. In one of the wilder fights you'll see this year, Kaleta and Campbell threw haymakers and uppercuts like they were going out of style, with Kaleta eventually securing the win and giving the Sabres a burst of momentum they would carry for the next ten minutes.
The second period began with the Sabres killing off one, then two, then three penalties against, but they showed nice positioning and a bit of luck killing off a 5-on-3. Ryan Miller stood strong, making some very nice saves early in the second, but eventually a Brad Marchand shot (of course) found its way past a screened Miller to give Boston the one goal lead.
After most of a typical second period for the Sabres (lots of penalties against, outshot 10-5) a beautiful Drew Stafford pass found Tyler Ennis all alone in front of the net, where he got Khudobin on the ground and slipped one top shelf for the pretty equalizer.
The final stanza saw the Sabres tied up in their own zone to start things off, as is a tradition these days, and it came back to bite them when Mike Weber took a delay of game penalty that led to Patrice Bergeron's eventual game winner. The Sabres would struggle to gain any offensive momentum after that, and an empty netter to Milan Lucic sealed the deal.
- Nathan Gerbe: Gerbe's audition for a second line spot was strong, as he was the Sabres most noticeable player on the ice in the first and third periods. "He had good legs," said Ruff.
- Ryan Miller: Miller was again strong against an onslaught of Boston shots, making a few spectacular saves among his many routine ones.
- Faceoffs: Boston came into the game as the #1 team in the league on the draw, but the Sabres held their own, winning 33 of 63 faceoffs. Too bad it didn't mean squat in the end.
- Power Play: The Sabres power play continued its power outage, looking terrible on three chances. Zone entry continues to plague the blue and gold, who managed just three shots with the man advantage.
- Marcus Foligno: His linemates , Gerbe and Ennis, had productive games, but Foligno was mostly invisible on the ice aside from one nice penalty kill moment along the boards. He let a sure goal slip off his stick early in the first, and wasn't involved physically at all.
- The top line: Yes, they've been basically the only reason that the Sabres aren't the worst team in the league. But tonight, they were finally ineffective. They combined for two shots and didn't have the legs to play at their best tonight, seeing less time than Tyler Ennis, Nathan Gerbe, and Steve Ott. It's the third game in four nights for Buffalo, and everyone has an off night, but it's scary how little scoring punch this team has when those three guys aren't going.
Quotes from the Locker Room
"The top half of our lineup didn't have it tonight."
- Lindy Ruff
"I feel like we have to earn every opportunity we get, we have to work for our opportunities. On the other hand, sometimes we give them the easy ones where they come around, whether it’s from a turnover we make or a miscue in our zone, they make plays."
- Jason Pominville
"There's nothing like having 18,000 fans with expectations, your team with expectations, your organization, that tests your ability to focus."
Comment of the Game
My 6 year old daughter… " who ever just made that score… I would just go and slap him in the face"…LOL I love her…
-weswed51, referring to Brad Marchand