It is getting more and more bleak everyday as the Sabres lost another shootout, this time to the New York Rangers. I have talked about the Sabres failure to win in a shootout before so I won't do it again. The fact remains that the Sabres had a golden opportunity to get a win last night and they were unable to do it. The power play needs to be more effective in the final 12 games if Buffalo is going to have a chance at the playoffs. The Sabres were 1-for-8 on the power play and they failed to convert a 5-on-3 in the second period.
It was a gutsy effort by the Sabres who played most of the game without two defensemen. Jaro Spacek left the game with an upper body injury and Dmitri Kalinin with a shoulder injury. It appears that the Sabres will be without both players for a couple of weeks and it is unclear if Tallinder is ready to return to action. I would expect the Sabres to call up 19 year old rookie defenseman Mike Weber but I am not sure who else will get called up. If the Sabres are going to have any opportunity they are going to rely on the four defensemen who stepped up last night. Toni Lydman is going to have to really step up and he will be playing close to 30 minutes a game. The Sabres current situation is eerily similar to that of the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals when they lost four defensemen.
The Sabres remain just three points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Flyers still have 13 games left while Buffalo has just 12 remaining. The Flyers have a home-and-home series with the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight and tomorrow while the Sabres have a game in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. As much as it pains us as Sabres fans we have to be cheering for the Leafs over the next couple of days.
GO LEAFS GO...GO LEAFS GO!!!!
Other Game Notes:
- The Rangers second goal came on a big hit by Avery that sent Paetsch into the boards. Jaromir Jagr was left all alone with Paetsch laying in the corner and he beat Miller with the wrist shot.
- The Sabres second goal came on a power play that should have never happened. Fredrick Sjostrom was called for goaltender interference when he was clearly pushed in by Toni Lydman.
- It was the second consecutive game that officials blew a goalie interference call. Paul Gaustad was called in the final five minutes against the Canes saturday but he was clearly cross checked into Cam Ward
- What was the purpose of playing Andrew Peters instead of Patrick Kaleta? Peters played five shifts for a total of 2:55 seconds, he lost a fight to Colton Orr and he took a dumb penalty at the end of regulation. He is just lucky that the referees didn't have the guts to give the Rangers a power play even though they should have. Lindy I think it's time you realize that Peters is a joke and should never see the ice in an NHL game again.
- On another note I will have a five questions segment with Frank D of Pensburgh that will be posted tomorrow.