Overreactions, 50th Edition: Gaustad’s interesting night leads Sabres past whining Habs

The Sabres haven’t lost a game in ten days.

Yes, the maligned, basement-dwelling Buffalo Sabres have won two games in a row for the first time since early November.

Returning from the All-Star break with fleeting opportunities to get back into playoff contention, the Buffalo Sabres came out flying and grabbed their third win of the season at the Bell Centre, earning a 3-1 victory over the Canadiens.

Paul Gaustad got the game winner 6:17 into the third period that was the difference, as the Sabres also got a goal from Ville Leino and an empty-netter from Patrick Kaleta.

“It’s always good to get a win on the road and we just have to turn it around quickly and quit patting ourselves on the back and go out and get the next one,” said Gaustad, who set up Ville Leino’s fourth goal 4:01 into the second period to tie it at 1.

Ryan Miller was stellar for Buffalo, making 27 saves to earn his 234th career win, tying him for the most all-time in Sabres history with the legendary Dominik Hasek.

Even with the win, the team suffered another loss, as Thomas Vanek left with an upper body injury and did not return. After the game, Ruff indicated that he will at least be out in the short term and will be reevaluated.

Despite the loss of the team’s leading goal scorer, the postgame chatter was centered around some trash talking between Paul Gaustad and Max Pacioretty. Multiple Canadiens players complained to the media that Gaustad crossed a line by referencing the hit by Boston’s Zdeno Chara that almost ended Pacioretty’s career last season. Gaustad explained that Montreal had initiated the exchanges by bringing up the Lucic-Miller incident.

The most cutting remark was made by Carey Price, who said “We can’t worry about what he’s got to say because he doesn’t do much out there.”

Paul Gaustad had a goal and two assists, and was a +3 on the night.

It is unknown whether the Montreal Police have begun an investigation into the incident.

  • The win is nice, but if Thomas Vanek is out for an extended period, this effort to get back into playoff contention is as futile as they come.
  • Tyler Ennis was phenomenal in his return from injury. Injuries aren’t a great excuse, but if there’s one guy whose absence has hurt the most, he’s got to be near the top of the list. He adds a different dimension to the offense.
  • Funny that Luke Adam got scratched after what I wrote yesterday, but it just accentuates the point. With Vanek out now, he’ll get back in. If Vanek’s injury is short-term, they need to get him to Rochester as soon as Vanek’s back.
  • The Canadiens acting like bitches after the game over Gaustad’s comments makes you appreciate that the Sabres’ room could be even more of a trainwreck. Holy crap. Running to the media after a game because of trash talk you thought was over the line? Did they call the cops too? What a bunch of pansies.
  • The last time Scott Gomez scored, Tom Golisano still owned the Sabres. Almost a full year now.
  • Ville Leino’s game has been getting better of late, and he was rewarded with a goal. The need for secondary scoring has been evident all year. If he can start chipping in consistently, these games might start falling into the win column more consistently.
  • Not to completely bag on Scott Gomez, but dynamite play on Kaleta’s empty netter. With Ehrhoff taking a long shot at the empty net, Gomez coasted backwards watching the puck miss the net while Kaleta charged into the zone to beat the icing call. He had an easy shot at the unattended cage and sealed the game. Good work, superstar.
  • Did not like the play Tyler Myers made that led to the Montreal goal whatsoever. He made an aggressive move to join the rush, which can be fine, but carrying the puck over the blue line, he ripped a shot from the circle over the net that ricocheted out of the zone and past everyone to send Pacioretty on a breakaway. First, if he’s joining the rush, whoever is his partner needs to be aware and sit back, which is on Christian Ehrhoff. But Myers must hit the net there from that angle if he’s shooting. Sometimes I get the sense he doesn’t consider that when he’s taking the shot. It burned them. He needs to make a smarter play.
  • Odd that Buffalo has played Montreal three times this season, and they’ve all been in Montreal. The final three are all in Buffalo, starting this month. Maybe it’s even more odd that they’ve all been wins.

Posted on February 1, 2012, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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