Overreactions, 54th Edition: Dallas goes down

All over Buffalo, fans had to walk away from Friday night’s game happy. Maybe they’re happy from the win. Maybe they’re happy with how it happened. Maybe they’re just rubbing this one in Gary’s face.

Facing a two-goal third period deficit and another nail in the coffin containing the team’s playoff hopes, the Sabres fought back to tie the game and took home the win, defeating Dallas 3-2 in a shootout.

After Thomas Vanek’s powerplay goal made it 2-1 early in the third, it was Derek Roy‘s tying goal with Ryan Miller on the bench and just under 39 seconds left on the clock that sent it to overtime.

Brad Boyes and Nathan Gerbe scored in the shootout for Buffalo. Miller stopped three of four shooters before Michael Ryder missed the net to seal the win. The Sabres netminder stopped 24 shots through 65 minutes.

Buffalo moves into 11th place in the East with the win, eight points behind 8th place Toronto with a game in hand. The Sabres have won five of six and will next face 13th place Tampa Bay on Saturday night.

  • Not sure how Kari Lehtonen wasn’t one of the three stars. He was outstanding for Dallas, making some ridiculous stops. The save on Vanek in the waning seconds of overtime is highlight reel material.
  • Vanek started out playing with Matt Ellis and Cody McCormick. That didn’t last. It shouldn’t have even been a line to start.
  • Can’t believe what possesses so many to leave early in a one-goal game. That’s “hockey IQ” right there.
  • Still not sure how there hasn’t been an overwhelming appreciation of what Tyler Ennis’ return has done for the Sabres. The kid is the most dynamic skater on the roster. Even without being on the scoresheet, he generated many of their best chances, including the pretty between the legs pass to Drew Stafford in the second that was denied by Lehtonen. Adding him down the middle has been key.
  • I thought Tyler Myers played one of his better games of the season. Usually, I seem fairly critical of him, mainly because few are willing to be critical of his play. However, he was quite solid, and other than a few rare hiccups, did some very nice things. He hasn’t been getting his point shot through enough, but he did when it mattered, and he got the assist on the Roy goal.
  • Note the guys on the ice for the tying goal: Vanek, Roy, Stafford, Jason Pominville, Paul Gaustad on the draw, and Tyler Myers at the point. It should mean something that those guys as a group came through in that moment, right?
  • Christian Ehrhoff is undoubtedly the team’s #1 defenseman right now, and his heads-up play in overtime to set up that last chance show a guy playing with confidence. Would’ve been a highlight-reel goal if Vanek converts that.
  • Luke Adam got scratched. If they know he’s not playing, and they’re going to send him to Rochester, why didn’t you do it in time for him to play Friday night instead of sitting on his ass in the press box?
  • In the long line of “surprisingly good ideas that they decide not to stick with in optimal form”, they went ahead and edited “Lonely Boy” to just looping the first part of the chorus instead of letting it play. Whoever decided this sounded better is an idiot.
  • Saw a pleasant increase in the number of black-and-red jerseys in the crowd Friday night. I’m sure it would’ve been higher if the team recognized that era a bit more, considering the prime demographic in the crowd bled those colors in their formative years.
  • Relieved that the Sabres don’t have to deal with Steve Ott more than once a season. That dude plays like a prick. He’s good.
  • Speaking of black-and-red, Thomas Vanek’s goal tied him with Miroslav Satan for 7th on the franchise’s all-time goals list. Satan’s legacy isn’t exactly the most fondly remembered by most Sabres fans, but that dude put up goals when goals didn’t come often.
  • Sabres took what seemed like a lot of penalties. They took four. The referees putting the whistles away of late continues to be bothersome. Call the rules, guys.

Posted on February 11, 2012, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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