After every game I sit here and write a recap of the game and the emotions are always different, I expect you can probably tell by my writing. The feeling tonight is complete and utter disappointment. It was a deflating loss despite the Sabres earning one point.
The first two periods were absolutely owned by the Buffalo Sabres. In fact the only time the Canes gained any momentum was when they were on the power play. The Sabres outshot the Canes 24-13 through two periods but only led 1-0. Call it good goaltending, call it a lack of finish...the bottomline is that the Sabres scored once on 24 shots through 40 minutes.
Carolina realized they had a perfect opportunity, trailing by only one goal with 20 minutes to play. We'll never know what was said in the locker room between periods but the Canes came out flying. The Canes outshot Buffalo 18-9 in the third period and were outshooting them 14-4 at one point. Anton Babchuk beat Patrick Lalime with a rocket and the Canes tied the game at one.
Just two goals were scored in regulation and overtime and the shootout wasn't much different. Cam Ward stopped all three Buffalo shooters and the Canes got a goal from Jussi Jokinen to earn the extra point. That is when the disappointment set in.
Lalime Silences Critics
Many people, myself included, were very critical of the play from Patrick Lalime on Tuesday. Tonight he silenced those critics with an outstanding 31 save effort.
As of this morning we had no idea if Patrick Lalime would be able to play because of the flu and tonight he was outstanding. Lalime played his best game of the season and was especially good in the third period. He stopped 17-of-18 third period shots to help the Sabres earn at least a point.
Lalime deserved to get a win tonight but it wasn't to be. He still has not earned a win since December 13 against the New Jersey Devils. His record is now 2-9-1 on the season. After the last game I made the comment "If he plays the way he did tonight, the Sabres are going to struggle to remain in the playoff hunt while Miller is recovering from his ankle injury". It's only fair that I retract that and say that "if he plays like he did tonight the Sabres are in good hands".
Penalty Killing was Good
Penalty killing has been a point of contention for the Sabres in the past couple of weeks. This was a team that began the season as the one of the best penalty killing teams in the entire league and recently they wouldn't have stopped a Junior team. Tonight they killed off all six Hurricane power plays including a 5-on-3 advantage in the first period.
The Sabres called upon a number of players while killing penalties but none were as important as Andrej Sekera and Henrik Tallinder. Both guys were very good clearing the front of the net and allowing Lalime to see the shots that were coming at him. Carolina had 10 power play shots but never seemed to get a real scoring chance.
Enough talking about how good the Sabres played because they lost the hockey game. It wasn't a lack of chances that was the problem, it was a lack of finish. Cam Ward was good in goal for Carolina but the Sabres had too many opportunities to come away with only one goal.
Players like Roy, Connolly, Stafford and Kotalik need to finish there chances. This is the second consecutive game that you could argue the Sabres were the better team but they scored only three goals and came away with two losses. It's just not good enough.
The Sabres lost Jaro Spacek in the third period after he was hit in the chest with a stick. It didn't look good and his loss would be a real tough break for the Sabres. At this point it's unclear the extent of the injury.
Harry Neale Quote of the Game
We had put the Harry Neale quote on a bit of a hiatus but it is back tonight. What did Harry say tonight that was witty and funny. Quite frankly...nothing. At the suggestion of dfderie we chose a simple comment as our Harry Neale quote of the Game.
“If you get 39 shots you’ll get 3-4 goals”
The problem is that the Sabres had 37 and only came away with one goal.
It took some third period adversity to get more people to join in the chat but once again we hit 200 comments. It was 201 in all so good job everyone.
Roll Call: Joan O., D.O., dfderie, coolman856, qdloser, Whale4ever, J2, aerosmithers, Americanario, ccthemovieman
Total Users: 10
Total Posts: 201
A must win game for the Sabres on Long Island. The NY Islanders are way out of the playoff race and are playing for only pride while the Sabres are desperate for two points.