Overreactions, 69th Edition: Sabres get it done in Ottawa

In the spot they’re in, the Sabres are going to put themselves into a good spot if they find a way to assert themselves and grab games early. Saturday night in Ottawa, they never led for a second. But they left Canada’s capital with two points.

Erasing a one-goal deficit not once, not twice, but three times, the Buffalo Sabres found a way to win, earning a 4-3 shootout victory over the Ottawa Senators.

Tyler Ennis scored the decisive goal in the shootout.

Buffalo got yet another strong game from Ryan Miller, who made 33 saves, some in spectacular fashion before stopping two of three in the shootout.

Three times Ottawa took a lead, but they were all answered by the Sabres. Nathan Gerbe scored midway through the second to make it 1-1. Ennis tied the game at 2-2 with less than 20 seconds left in the middle period. The clutch goal to send it to overtime was scored by Marcus Foligno, his first career goal in his 2nd NHL game with 5:54 left on the clock.

“It was good to see us get pucks to the net, and we got a couple of nice bounces and that comes from just putting the puck in good areas,” Miller said. “They all count and they were a little bit dirtier. We needed it.”

It was an impressive effort from the Sabres to rebound, as Ottawa capitalized on Buffalo errors to jump ahead throughout the game. A Tyler Myers turnover at the blueline led to Erik Condra’s shorthanded goal. A breakout pass into Cody Hodgson’s skates set up Erik Karlsson’s first goal of the night. The third goal was a lost battle in front that led to Karlsson banking a shot off Miller and in from behind the goal line.

Buffalo now heads home, where they have Sunday off before facing Montreal at First Niagara Center on Monday.

  • The most important contract Darcy Regier has to get signed this summer is Tyler Ennis. The much discussed “second contract” is going to be key for the team’s cap situation for the next few seasons. Getting this guy signed for a reasonable rate is important. Injuries have kept his totals down this season, which should help, but Ennis is going to be a star by the time he has to sign his next deal. The most dynamic player in the organization, Ennis could be the team’s #1 center in a few years.
  • When Marcus Foligno came up earlier in the season, it was blatantly obvious he was not ready for the NHL. Seems like a totally different player now. I’d prefer to keep him in Rochester longer to continue development unless injuries provoke recalls, but you see why Zack Kassian was expendable. Solid 16 minutes from the rookie.
  • The defense is going to have to make a concerted effort to aim for the blade of Cody Hodgson’s stick instead of the blade of his skates.
  • Alex Sulzer had a phenomenal game. Looked good and was reliable for 22 minutes of action. Keep in mind, he’s a UFA at season’s end. Not sure the team has him in their future plans or not with the pipeline filling up.
  • Another shootout win. The Sabres are going to have to work harder to end up in 8th place, because they have no shot in hell to win any tiebreakers. They have to clear another point because of it.
  • I doubt we’ll see Matt Ellis anytime soon. Things didn’t look good when he went down, and the prognosis after the game seemed bleak. Cody McCormick can step into the lineup, but once Vanek and Kaleta are fully healthy, I’d hope Corey Tropp is gonna have priority over McCormick.
  • Really liked the Ville Leino-Cody Hodgson-Jason Pominville line. Hodgson had a pretty good game, and other than the turnover on the Karlsson goal, he was really good in the defensive zone.
  • The lack of penalties called during the course of a game makes the Pominville slashing penalty look even more ridiculous.
  • Erik Karlsson is 21 years old. Dear god, he’s going to be a pain in the ass for a long time.
  • Sometimes second assists are garbage. Christian Ehrhoff’s work on the Gerbe goal made that goal. Breaks through the zone, gains the line, finds an open man, drives the net and screens Ben Bishop for an easy look for Gerbe. Hate on the Leino signing all you want, Ehrhoff for the next ten years is cool with me.

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

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