It's tough to find the right words to describe the Sabres loss to the Sharks. I can't say the Sharks were the better team but they won 5-2. Did the Sabres play bad enough to deserve a 5-2 loss? I have a hard time saying they did.
Every once in awhile you run into a hot goalie and last night the Sabres did just that. The Sabres pressured the Sharks to the amount of 40 shots but Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabakov made difficult save after difficult save. We have talked about the Sabres lack of finish this season but this game had more to do with a hot goalie than it did the Sabres lack of finish.
It was the Sabres that scored the all important first goal of the game. Jason Pominville made a nice cross pass to Tim Connolly who scored his 13th goal of the season and extended his point streak to 15 games. The first period was owned by the Sabres who outshot the Sharks 14-5 but the only goal was by Connolly and the Sharks were still in the game at 1-0.
How many times have we heard the saying "a one goal lead is never safe"? That became reality early in the second after Steve Montador gave the puck away in the Sabres zone and Joe Pavelski buried his opportunity for his first goal of the game. The Sharks added to the lead on a goal by Sabre-killer Dany Heatley. It is impossible to keep the Sharks top line off the board for an entire game and they proved why on this goal. Heatley was parked in front of Miller and Thorton fed him a perfect pass.
The Sabres began the third period trailing by a goal but they had a man advantage. They sensed an opportunity to get back in the game and Jason Pominville scored his 14th of the season just 18 seconds into the period. With the score tied in the third period the teams traded chances but Pavelski scored his second goal after the Sabres were pinned in their own zone for an entire shift and Jed Ortmeyer took advantage of another Montador giveaway. The Sabres pulled their goalie in the final minutes but Scott Nichol took the puck away from Toni Lydman and fed a pass to Ortmeyer who scored his second of the game.
- It's hard to fault the Sabres effort in this game. They were the better team for most of the game but the Sharks used good goaltending and an opportunistic offense to beat the Sabres. They took advantage of every Sabres mistake and turned it into a goal.
- As an American, I am hoping that Joe Pavelski will play that well in the Olympics. He looked like a confident player that can bury his chances.
- Steve Montador needs to watch the game Monday from up in the press box. I know he has been better than any of us expected this season but his mistakes on Saturday night were inexcusable. Andrej Sekera was playing well before he was sent to the press box and he needs to get back on the ice.
I thought the power play looked a lot better in this game. They scored a goal but more importantly they had 10 shots on four powerplays.
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