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Sabres Win Game, Lose Vanek

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Elation quickly turned to concern for Buffalo Sabres fans when it was revealed that Thomas Vanek would miss a considerable amount of time with an undisclosed upper-body injury.  Vanek revealed that the injury occurred before he scored his second goal, when he collided wit ex-Sabres forward Brad May.  He is expected to miss "weeks" according to head coach Lindy Ruff.

This was the type of game that everyone was hoping for from the Sabres offense.  They were tied at 1-1 after one period of play and that is when they started to light up the HSBC Arena scoreboard.  The Sabres scored four times in the second period en route to a 6-2 win over Western Conference Champion Detroit Red Wings.

The first period got off to a slow start with both teams feeling each other out.  Buffalo seemed to put most of the pressure on in the early going and were outshooting Detroit 5-1 through the first eight minutes. 

Jochen Hecht helped the Sabres get the games first power play by driving to the center of the ice and drawing a slashing penalty on Brad Stuart.  The Sabres quickly took advantage on an easy goal by Drew StaffordChris Butler had his wrist shot blocked by Detroit Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood but Drew Stafford was "Johnny on the Spot" to the right of Osgood and put the rebound in the net. 

The Red Wings quickly answered with a power play goal of their own by Valterri Fillipula.  The Red Wings had great puck control in the Sabres zone and Nicklas Kronwall had his shot from the point tipped by Fillipula.  The Red Wings ran the same play three times before they finally beat Miller. 

The second period began with some physical play as Patrick Kaleta was drilled behind the Sabres net despite the puck being nowhere in the area.  Kaleta looked for retribution but decided that it would be better to get revenge on the scoreboard.  He followed up a great rush by 19 year-old defenseman Tyler Myers and gave Buffalo a 2-1 lead. 

The Sabres built upon their 2-1 lead with two goals from Thomas Vanek and a backhand goal by Clarke MacArthur.  All four second period goals were even strength goals for the Sabres.  In fact the Sabres were 0-for-1 with the man advantage during the second period.

The Red Wings did a great chance to score after Valterri Fillpula got behind the defense and was hauled down by the Sabres Myers.  Fillipula was awarded a penalty shot but never had a chance against Miller.  He made a couple of moves but Miller read the play and made the save look easy.

The third period was about going through the motions and coming away with a victory for the Sabres.  The teams traded goals and the Sabres came away with the victory.  The win propels the Sabres into first place in the Northeast Division with a 3-0-1 record.

Offense Finally Finds Back of Net

The Sabres struggled playing 5-on-5 last season and have made a commitment to being better this season.  They have played better this season but still could not score goals.  That all changed tonight, at least for one game.  The Sabres scored six goals tonight and five of those goals were scored in 5-on-5 situations.  Thomas Vanek scored twice, Clarke MacArthur scored one, Patrick Kaleta scored one and Paul Gasutad had the other for the Sabres offense.

Vanek Injury a Concern

The injury to Thomas Vanek was the only thing that went wrong for the Sabres on Tuesday night.  There is nobody on the team that can replace Thomas Vanek but it will give an opportunity to another player, presumably Daniel Paille.  Paille has been a healthy scratch for all four games and will probably get a chance to show what he can do with Vanek out of the lineup.

There is a slight chance the Sabres will call up Nathan Gerbe but I would guess that Paille will get the first chance at cracking the lineup.

Fourth Line Contributing

It's always good when you can roll four lines and get production from all of them.  In Nashville it was the third line that was outstanding and tonight the fourth line was able to chip in.  Patrick Kaleta is known as an agitator, much like Matthew Barnaby was for the Sabres, tonight he was a offensive contributor.  Kaleta scored a goal after a great play by Tyler Myers and he added an assist when he fed a nice pass in front to Paul Gaustad.

Roll Call

Without me in the room the comments were down with 106 being tallied in the thread but there were 17 people making comments.  Afino was the big winner tonight with 31 total comments and the winner of the comment of the game.

Roll Call: Afino, Kooz, qdloser, BeastMode, bflo, Zachary Zielonka, J2, ccthemovieman, returner3, JSCoope, aaron in ny, clownfat, cwel87, Sn1perX, actioncuse, bluecollarbuffalo, NeverendingOptimism
Total Users: 17
Total Posts: 106
Total Threads: 1

Name # of Posts
Afino 31
Zachary Zielonka 17
bflo 13
Kooz 11
JSCoope 7
returner3 7
J2 3
ccthemovieman 3
bluecollarbuffalo 3
BeastMode 2
cwel87 2
actioncuse 2
NeverendingOptimism 1
clownfat 1
qdloser 1
aaron in ny 1
Sn1perX 1

 

SPG Game

There is still time to join because nobody is running away with the total points race.  zaniac had two points tonight and I had one.  Only three points were tallied in this one.

Up Next

The Buffalo Sabres will remain at home to take on John Tavares and the New York Islanders.  It will be the first time Tavares will play in HSBC Arena and the first time the Sabres will play against him.