Overreactions, 73rd Edition: Sabres bolt ahead and beat Tampa

Games have tended to slip away from the Sabres lately.

There was the “give up a late goal to force overtime and lose in the shootout” one last Wednesday. And then the “come back to tie it and blow multiple chances to seal the win in a shootout” one in southern Florida on Saturday.

Tonight, the Sabres made sure that wasn’t happening again.

Holding a two goal lead after 20 minutes, Buffalo used a four-goal second period to pull away en route to a 7-3 win over Tampa Bay.

Jason Pominville and Marcus Foligno each scored twice for Buffalo, who kept pace with the victorious Washington Capitals and sit just two points behind them for the final playoff spot in the East.

“We were able to capitalize on a couple of rushes and made some good plays on our power play,” Pominville said. “When they have to change their game plan and open the game up, I think it falls into our style of play. We’ve got guys that have speed and can make you pay, and we did.”

Drew Stafford, Corey Tropp and Brad Boyes also scored, as the Sabres defeated the Lightning for the first time this season.

Ryan Miller made 24 saves to get the win, as his counterparts, starter Dustin Tokarski (four goals allowed on 15 shots) and Dwayne Roloson (three goals allowed on 23 shots) didn’t fare as well.

  • Tyler Ennis, Drew Stafford and Marcus Foligno are absolutely sublime right now. A combined three goals and four assists tonight, these guys look phenomenal together. Ennis’ move to center has singlehandedly rejuvenated Stafford, and Foligno has probably played his last AHL game, unless the Sabres miss the playoffs.
  • Good to see Jason Pominville pick up a couple nice goals, getting him to 27 on the year. He’s had a great season, and he should have a good look at breaking the 30-goal mark. Hey, somebody ought to be able to get that many.
  • Corey Tropp with an absolute beauty on a nice setup from Thomas Vanek. Tropp is the future of the bottom six on this roster. Decent size, good energy and solid hands. He’s developed into a hell of a player.
  • Alex Sulzer’s game lately has been extremely good. Does he come out when Myers returns Wednesday? Or is it Mike Weber? Can’t imagine Sekera, who played 21:42 tonight, is on the chopping block. Weber had a blueline-low 17:28.
  • Hey look, Brad Boyes scored.
  • Tonight might have been the best game that Cody McCormick has played all season. He showed good hands, played the puck well, and added good pressure without looking lost. He picked up an assist on the Boyes goal. Good work tonight.
  • Congrats to Cody “That’s Hod-son not” Hodgson on his first points as a Sabre, as he picked up two helpers. The kid needs to catch a break and get a puck in the net, but since being placed with Thomas Vanek, has looked very dangerous. That pairing with Tropp on the other wing had a nice game.
  • Through the first two periods, the Sabres outshot Tampa 27-15. That usually helps.
  • Derek Roy ended up being Buffalo’s only player with a negative plus/minus, finishing -1. Not a big deal, I don’t think he or his line looked bad. Roy was 11-of-16 on faceoffs too.
  • Nice to see the Sabres light up a team, but remember, tonight’s opponent was sans-Lecavalier and sans-starting goalie. Even if that starting goalie is Mathieu Garon.

Posted on March 19, 2012, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Still an uphill battle. Where was this play in the middle of the season when they couldn’t buy a goal. Should make for an interesting off season. Wondering what ever happened to Skip Krake?

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