Heading into the game tonight the Sabres had won two of their last three games and were coming off of a 2-0 victory in Phoenix on Saturday. They picked up were they left off on Saturday by dominating the Ducks in the first period. Patrick Kaleta scored the games first goal and the Sabres were playing with confidence.
Early in the second period the Ducks took control and never let their foot off the gas. They had a strategy to get Buffalo off of their game and it worked perfectly. They played aggressively in front of the Sabres net and forced Sabres captain Craig Rivet to spend most of the second period in the penalty box. Rivet took two fighting majors after two seperate altercations, one with Corey Perry and another with Steve Montador.
The Ducks dominated the final two periods and out shot the Sabres 37-23 in the game and 32-13 over the final two periods. The Ducks scored two third period power play goals and used a smothering defense to hold on tt a 3-2 victory. They held the Sabres top scorers Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek, Tim Connolly and Drew Stafford to a combined total of three shots and limited the Sabres scoring chances. Craig Rivet pulled the Sabres within one goal late in the third but Buffalo never had much of a chance after that. They had a late power play but were unable to convert on the opportunity.
It was another loss for Patrick Lalime but this game was not his fault. Lalime made plenty of really good saves and he made a total of 34 saves in all. Lalime has had his ups and downs this season but this loss cannot be pinned on him. The Ducks scored two of their three goals on the power play and did their best to take advantage of the Sabres young and inexperienced defense.
The Sabres finished their six-game road trip with a total of three victories, including two on the four-game Western swing. Although this was a frustrating loss, the Sabres have to be happy with the way they played on the long road trip.
The Sabres finally return home to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday. The next four games are really important for Buffalo. They take on all Northeast opponents and have an opportunity to move up the Eastern Conference standings.
It was a pretty lively game thread, especially considering the late 10 PM start time. Thanks to everyone who contributed and I look forward to seeing everyone on Wednesday night. We had eight people contribute a total of 147 comments.
Roll Call: coolman856, D.O., dfderie, HO, Bob Sheppard, tornado681, aaron in ny, chargerman73se
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