Buffalo pulled out a much-needed shootout win tonight against the Ottawa Senators, 6-5. A few notes on the game:
- Drury becomes another statistic on the injury list for the Sabres. He was taken out — attacked, really — by a late hit to his head in the second period. I didn’t see it live but the replays looked bad, and he didn’t return to the game.
- After the hit on Drury, Mair and Peters instigated fights that eventually led to both of them being ejected. Both goalies — Biron and Emery — skated out to rough each other up and were also ejected for fighting. The coaches, Ruff and Murray, were arguing and yelling at each other over the glass between the benches.
- “You can’t respond any other way,” said Ruff in the post-game press conference.
- Thomas Vanek picked up two goals, notching numbers 30 and 31 for the season. At this point, I think he’s the leading scorer of those who aren’t on the injured list.
- Ottawa came back in the third period, after the Sabres had gone up by two. The Senators had three power play goals.
- Tallinder very nearly won the game — I think it was in overtime, not regulation — on a nice shot that just happened to hit the left goalpost.
- Drew Stafford got another shootout chance, and scored the game winner.
- Miller’s sharp left glove save — he caught the puck with authority and shook it — ended the shootout round and the game. He did well in relief of Marty Biron, even with the two late Ottawa goals.
- The Sabres spilled out onto the ice after the save, and looked more ecstatic and excited than they have in quite some time.
- The Senators racked up an impressive 43 shots.
- Buffalo had five forwards left on the bench at the end, and had to switch Paetsch over to offense. (He plays two ways.)
- ”I think there were more Rochester Americans sitting on the bench than Buffalo Sabres,” Ruff said of the makeup of his team at the end of the game. Two of the top three Amerks scorers have been called up to Buffalo, leaving the Rochester AHL franchise depleted.
I hope that the Sabres will be ready for the repeat match with the Senators on Saturday. Hm.