The Sabres have largely survived off their incredible goaltending play this season. Michal Neuvirth surely didn't disappoint against the Carolina Hurricanes, but he could only keep Buffalo in this one for so long.
Despite being outshot 22 to 4 in the second period, the game was still tied at one going into the third period. However, after Drew Stafford gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead, Alex Semin and Jiri Tlusny quickly responded to give Carolina the lead right back. Fittingly, Nathan Gerbe scored the empty netter to put the cherry on top of the Hurricanes 4-2 victory.
Neuvirth had 51 saves on the night, the first time a Sabres goalie has made more than 50 since Dominik Hasek in 1996. Some of the stops were pretty impressive, which isn't all that surprising when you make that many. He's done a good job in convincing people that an Enroth/Neuvirth combination could be a good option for next season. In his first game he faced 46 shots, and this time it's 55. Somebody probably misses Washington.
Alexander Sulzer left the game in the first period after being hit headfirst into the glass. He did not return due to what the Sabres called an "upper body injury." It was his first game back from his last injury, so if he's unable to play Saturday Chad Ruhwedel will likely slide right back into the lineup.
Three Questions Answered
1. What Will Buffalo's effort look like tonight?
Instead of a bag skate, maybe Nolan should have run some defensive drill with his club on Tuesday. The Sabres completely disappeared in the second and third periods, which should frustrate the Sabres head coach.
2. Who will keep their scoring steak alive, Drew Stafford or Alexander Semin?
Turns out, both did. Stafford scored the second Sabres goal on the night to give them the lead, but Semin scored the eventual game-winner three minutes later. Stafford now has 15 points in the last 16 games.
3. Will Ville Leino ever score again?
1. Alex Semin- much to the chagrin of Paul Hamilton, Semin had an assist as well as the game-winning goal.
2. Michal Neuvirth- 51 saves on 54 shots.
3. Jordan Staal- 2 assists
Comment of the Game
Imagine how good the goalies will be when they only have to face 25!