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Sabres fall on controversial goal

It was a much more complete effort tonight but still the same result as Saturday in Montreal. Tonight the Sabres fell 4-3 to the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins. NHL Golden Boy Sidney Crosby scored the overtime winner on a shot that he clearly deflected with a high stick. Is there really any reason to have a war room in Toronto if they can't see anyway? Is that the same video room that looks at supplemental discipline? Anyway, I digress. Hopefully that will be the end of my venting and I'll talk about the game.

Both teams started out sluggishly and really never regrouped but Buffalo was by far the better all around team tonight. Yet somehow the result is the same...a loss at home (Yeah I know we get a point but who caeres? It's a loss). Like most Sabres games this season the story was special teams. The Sabres were just 1-for-6 on the power play while the Pens were 1-for-1...yep they were 1-for-1. The worst part is that the one power play came on a feel-good penalty. Daniel Paille got checked real hard so he hit back when the puck wasn't there. It was a stupid penalty in the third period and it allowed the Pens to tie the game.

This was a frustrating game in every respect because Buffalo seemed to do a lot of things right and yet the result was not favorable. It's one of those games when you shake your head and wonder what it will take to win a game. Buffalo held a 1-0 lead after one period and they extended the lead just over five minutes into the second. Ales Kotalik scored the Sabres second goal but Pascal Dupuis answered back less than a minute later. It was basically the Sabres first breakdown of the night and quite honestly the last.

In the final two periods the Sabres outshot the Penguins 28-9 but were outscored 3-2 in the final 40 minutes. Sometimes the shots on goal are misleading but in this case they are fairly accurate. The Sabres five power plays in the final two periods and only scored once on a rebound goal by C-Mac. The Sabres played as good of a defensive game that I have seen them play, completely shutting down Sidney Crosby as well. A defensive play by Toni Lydman and another by Drew Stafford stand out as plays that Crosby normally buries but was foiled.

In the end we can talk about the Non-Goal by Sidney Crosby and we can talk about the failed opportunities the Sabres had but we came away with only one point in another home game. This team has got to get their act together and win some games at home if they want to be considered a playoff team. The fact is that the team is not that good and the injuries are not helping either.

Game Notes

  • Jochen Hecht left the game after getting hit in the ear with a puck...there was no word on whether or not he'll be able to play Friday but the injuries are mounting.
  • Derek Roy had a nine game point streak end tonight and once again Thomas Vanek was held off the scoreboard.
  • The secondary scoring has really picked up. The goals tonight were scored by Daniel Paille, Ales Kotalik and Clarke MacArthur.
  • Ryan Miller stopped only 18-of-22 shots but he was not bad tonight...although he wasn't as good as he has been in recent games.
  • No Harry Neale quote of the game because the game was on Versus.
  • Penguins Defenseman Alex Goligoski scored his fifth and sixth of the season.

Up Next

Buffalo is off until after Christmas when they welcome another NHL superstar to the HSBC Arena. Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin will be the opponents this time as the Washington Capitals come to town for a 7:30 game on Friday night.

Roll Call

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the game thread tonight. There was a total of 11 people who commented in the thread which may be a Die by the Blade record.

Thanks to

Joan O., ccthemovieman, AngelaMc, shannonalyssa, qdloser, Fucilli5, dfderie, Travis Hughes, Buffalo Darkness and HO