Bobby Ryan defeated the Buffalo Sabres tonight 3-2. Oh, sure, there were some other players on the ice for the Senators, and I suppose they chipped in a bit on the final 5-2 score, but Ottawa only needed one man to take down the Sabres, who played a much worse game tonight than they have in recent weeks.
Ryan scored one goal in each period to notch the hattie, while the Senators also got goals from Clarke MacArthur and an empty netter from Colin Greening. Ottawa took advantage of the 35-21 shot differential, and managed to hold the Sabres to just two - TWO! - shots in the third period where they were down at east one goal for almost the entire frame.
On the Buffalo front, Mark Pysyk and Zemgus Girgensons scored the two Sabres goals, while Nikita Zadorov made headlines with a monstrous hit on Milan Michalek in the second period.
The Sabres really played poorly at time tonight, something we're starting to see more of recently, but especially in the third period. Down a goal, they mustered only two shots while giving up two more goals, and couldn't take advantage of four power plays during the game. Jhonas Enroth wasn't the sharpest, and his defense was caught looking on a few goals tonight.
The Sabres will have one more chance to leave 2014 on a high note as they host their annual Tux & Pucks night on New Year's Eve.
1. How will the defense look tonight?
With Rasmus Ristolainen out, Mark Pysyk stepped in to his large shoes and filled them very well, scoring his first goal of the season, third of his career, and first since ButtGoal. Pysyk's goal was the fourth goal by a Sabres defenseman in their last four games, but Josh Gorges and Andre Benoit were both a -3, so boo.
2. Can Nick Deslauriers keep his hot streak going?
Nope - Deslauriers was held pointless tonight and posted a -3.
3. Will Zemgus Girgensons leave this game as the only Sabres player with a positive +/-?
Yes - Girgensons left the game as he entered it: +1.
Comment of the Game
Around the middle of the second period
Sounds about right.