The Buffalo Sabres dropped another game in the 2013-14 season, this time a 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators. Paul Gaustad made his return to the First Niagara Center by fighting Zenon Konopka and scoring an empty net goal. Shea Weber had a goal and an assist and Craig Smith continued his team leading scoring with his 20th of the season.
All of that is well and good and we can rehash how bad the Sabres are for the 38th time this season. Or, we can remark on one of the more amazing sidenotes of the night. Tuesday night was Drew Stafford's 500th career game with the Buffalo Sabres. He became the 29th player in Sabres history to play 500 career games with the Sabres. He celebrated this fact with an early power play goal, his 12th of the season.
500 games as a Sabre for Drew Stafford seems very much like a miracle. Long the scapegoat by many fans for his performance, it seemed that Stafford has either been the talk of trades or the questioning of whether he should be resigned for most of his career. To his credit, Stafford was pretty nonchalant about game number 500 after the game, "[500 games] is quite an accomplishment. I never really realized it until a couple games ago. I've had some ups and downs and you guys have seen it all since I've only been here."
Whether Stafford gets 100 more as a Buffalo Sabre is readily in question. But that's only because 500 seemed so implausible.
Three Questions Answered
1.) How badly will the Sabres get outshot tonight?
The team actually outshot Nashville 25-24 thanks in main part to a flurry of activity from Buffalo in the second period. Even with the team actually generating more shots, it didn't help the cause all that much.
2.) Can anybody besides Drew Stafford or Tyler Ennis score?
Unfortunately no. Stafford scored the lone goal early and that would be all that the Sabres offense could muster.
3.) Will Ville Leino ever score again?
Did this really need to be asked?