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Sabres rebound to shutout Caps

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      Game #11

Buffalo Sabres 5 vs. Washington Capitals 2

It was like watching a different team play as the Sabres shutout the Caps 5-0.  It was a huge bounce back game for a team that looked awful in their previous two home games.  From the opening face-off it was eveident that the team came to play tonight but Thomas Vanek made sure everyone knew when he beat Mike Green first and Jose Theodore second to put the Sabres up 1-0 just 1:12 into the game.  Vanek finished the game with two goals with his second coming with only 2.9 seconds remaining in the second period.

It wasn't just Vanek tonight, it was a total team effort.  I was quick to criticize Miller after what I would term "an awful" game on Thursday, tonight he was outstanding.  Miller made every save that he needed to make and he was especially good in the second period when Buffalo was outshot 14-4.  As good as Miller was he had some help from his defense and forwards blocking shots and the Caps hit a couple of posts as well.  The Sabres blocked 17 shots compared to only seven for the Caps.  Toni Lydman led the way blocking three shots and three players blocked two.

It wasn't the Harry Neale quote of the game but maybe the stat of the game...he mentioned that 11 Sabres skaters had points in the game tonight.  That is a key stat and why this is a really good team.  Four of the Sabres five goals came while at even strength, an area where this team has struggled before tonight.  Even bigger is the fact that the four goals were scored by three different lines.  The Roy-Vanek-Kotalik line scored twice and the Mair-Afinogenov-Stafford line was the only one not to score. 

It seemed that most of the guys that were called out by Lindy Ruff were able to rebound in some way tonight.  Derek Roy scored a power play goal over the shoulder of Theodore, Daniel Paille scored a goal on a 2-on-1 with Patrick Kaleta and Drew Stafford blocked two shots.  Tim Connolly made an immediate impact in the lineup forcing the Caps to take a coupe of penalties because if his outstanding offensive abilities. 

A pretty good way to rebound from a couple of really bad games.  It was really nice to see Miller get a shutout because it always seems like we lose the shutout in the final minutes.  I'm still not happy about the comments Miller made after the last game but it was nice to see him back it up, that was something we didn't see enough of last season.

Harry Neale Quote of the Game

"Fleischmann gets two minutes for losing his temper, but he should have got four"

Comment was made after Thomas Fleischmann cross-checked Derek Roy into the boards and proceeded to hit him again while he was down.

Roll Call

Another slow night with only 79 comments but it was a Sabres victory.  There was a total of six users including myself, with the others being Joan O., HO, xiix, qdloser and jobe.  Joan O. led the way with a total of 29 posts.