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Sabres Win Thriller; Remain in Hunt

Tonight was a must win game and the Sabres played like it.  This was one of the better games this team has played all season.  They made plenty of mistakes but they battled and found a way to get two points against the Southeast Division Champions.  There is no denying that Washington is a good hockey team and somehow the Sabres managed a victory.

It was entertaining game from the opening face-off and the first scoring chance came on the games first shift.  Clarke MacArthur fed a pass across ice to Tim Connolly but Connolly missed a wide open net.  It was a sure fire a goal and a play that would certainly be remembered if the Sabres lost the hockey game.  

That wasn't the only adversity this team had to battle through tonight.  They played much of the second period shorthanded including what I thinh was three 5-on-3 power plays.  It was confusing for awhile after Derek Roy and Jaro Spacek both took penalties while there was a 4-on-4 situation already.  If that wasn't confusing enough, Toni Lydman took a hooking penalty while they were on a 5-on-3.

The Sabres allowed two goals on the long 5-on-3 allowing the Capitals to regain the lead 3-2.  The Sabres never quit and battled back a couple of times and even managed to keep their composure after having a goal disallowed.  This team never quit tonight and there is still hope they can make the playoffs.

Unlikely Heroes

The Sabres scored five goals tonight and three of the goal scorers are players that either are or were in the doghouse.  Clarke MacArthur scored the Sabres second goal and there were reports that he wouldn't be in the lineup tonight.  C-Mac has been good offensively of late and it was the right move to keep him in the lineup.

Max Afinogenov was a healthy scratch the last two games and made a triumphant return to the lineup tying the game at four.  The tying goal was scored after a goal was disallowed because it was ruled that Max was in the crease and interfered with the goalie Varlamov.

The third was Jason Pominville who many think has underachieved all season.  He hasn't been terrible but it's hard to argue that he hasn't put up the numbers that are expected out of him.  Tonight he scored what could be considered the biggest goal of the entire season in overtime.

Connolly gets Redemption

I mentioned earlier that Tim Connolly missed a wide open gaping net on the games first shift.  For awhile it seemed that failed opportunity might come back to haunt the team but it didn't.  Connolly assisted on the Sabres last three goals, including the game winner in overtime.

All three assists were just absolutely great plays.  The first was a hard pass that was deflected by Derek Roy with the Sabres on the power play.  The second was a smart play that ended up on the stick of Afinogenov.  The third was probably his best.  Connolly stole the puck at the blue line and went to the wall, allowing Pominville to go in on goal all alone and score the winner.

Battling Adversity

Buffalo seemed out of this game on a couple of occasions but they never gave up and just kept battling till the end.  They were shorthanded most of the second period and although they allowed three power play goals, the penalty killing was pretty good.  They lived through a controversial disallowed goal and somehow managed to get a necessary two points.

Harry Neale Quote of the Game

It came very early in the game while the Sabres were on a power play that never seemed to manage any continuity.

"The only thing ticking on this power play is the clock"

Roll Call

Thanks to those who joined us for what was a very entertaining hockey game.

Roll Call: D.O., ccthemovieman, qdloser, dfderie, tripl21, billsct11
Total Users: 6
Total Posts: 148

Name # of Posts
D.O. 64
dfderie 50
ccthemovieman 27
qdloser 4
billsct11 2
tripl21 1


Up Next

The Sabres return home to take on the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.  The Devils were also in action on Friday and beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 in overtime.