The Buffalo Sabres did not start today's game against the Penguins well, falling behind 2-0 in the first 87 seconds. However, the team showed some serous resolve in battling back to take a 3-2 lead in the middle of the third period. It was all for naught, though, as the Pens would score twice and win 4-3.
After the game, Steve Ott talked about only taking positives out of this game regarding the team's resolve and the way they battled back. Ryan Miller, on the other hand, was visibly angry in his post game interview, dropping some NSFW language that echoed what most Sabres fans were thinking. See below for Miller's quotes and audio from the locker room.
- Dupuis (6) from Orpik and Kunitz
- Crosby (7) PPG
- Hodgson (7) from Ehrhoff and Vanek
- Vanek (12) PPG from Ehrhoff and Ennis
- Ott (3) from Gerbe and Hecht
- Dupuis (7) from Letang and Kunitz
- Martin (2) from Crosby and Dupuis
- Good god, the Sabres came out flat to start this game. Two Pittsburgh goals in the first 87 seconds is not how you want to start the game in front of a national audience. Heck, in front of any audience.
- Cody Hodgson is really bad in his own zone. He gave the puck away and then lost his man, who scored the first Pens goal. However, Cody Hodgson is really good in the opponent's zone. His hustle to grab a Christian Ehrhoff rebound led to a nice goal to bring the game within one. If he can ever become a reliable defensive player, or even a half-decent one, the Sabres will have that true #1 center they've been looking for.
- The Sabres power play continues to be garbage. Why in the name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is Nathan Gerbe on the second PP unit? Gerbe has just one point this year (Ed Note: He would later get his second) and continues to be generally ineffective at everything besides hustling.
- Pittsburgh takes two penalties in quick succession, one a faceoff violation (don't guys know not to do this by now?) to give the Sabres a long 5-on-3. Buffalo would need almost all of it, but after a few good chances, Thomas Vanek tipped in a Christian Ehrhoff shot through his legs for a gorgeously simple goal. Nobody makes the incredible look easy like Vanek.
- Tyler Myers has been doing more "rookie Myers stuff" over the past few games. Leading the rush into the offensive zone, pinching, and somehow sneaking behind the defense even though he's 6'8'', and Lindy Ruff rewarded him with the second most ice time behind Ehrhoff. This is a very good sign.
- Patrick Kaleta on one PK shift: two blocked shots, one while Miller was down and out, then hustles his butt to the bench for a fresh body. Patty has really blossomed over the past year or two from a cheap, energy guy into an extremely reliable defensive player for the Sabres, and a good fighter to boot.
- Very classy move by Cody McCormick during his fight with Tanner Glass early in the period - Glass got his head tangled up inside his sweater, and McCormick waited for him to get free before continuing the fight. You stay classy, Cody.
- Nathan Gerbe shoots, Fleury deflects it right to Steve Ott, he pots his third goal of the season. If only they were all that easy.
- It's incredible how often the Sabres continue to try to pass backwards in their own zone rather than skate the puck out, and how often that has come back to bite them. Pominville has a chance to skate it out cleanly, decides to go backwards, and Pittsburgh scores approximately 10 seconds later. Unusually poor game from #29 today.
- Miller screened on the final goal, and the Sabres go on to lose one of those games that you try not to be too angry about after the way they battled back. Still.
- "It's a shitty way to lose."
- "We're neither confident enough or experienced enough with a lead in the third period, and that burned us. It's not acceptable."
- "I don't think it [the hard work] goes for naught. We worked our ass off for a reason out there and showed a lot of character in that game. You've could have folded the tent in a minute and a half and every single guy in here could have mailed it out. But we didn't, we fought."
- "Negativity gets thrown out the window in a game like this. Obviously, we're disappointed that we didn't win, or collect points, but to show the character that I saw out of this group, to battle back...that's what it's all about."
- "Our play in our own end is light-years ahead of where we were."
Ryan Miller, 2-17-13 (Miller uses some four letter words here. You've been warned.)