Delayed Overreactions: Sabres drop home opener as Miller stops many pucks

183125572_slideRyan Miller did more than he needed to for the Sabres to get a result. They didn’t. And so begins the issues.

Playing their first game of the season at First Niagara Center, the Buffalo Sabres were shutout by Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson, as he out-dueled Miller and helped the visiting Senators hand the Sabres a 1-0 loss in front of a sellout crowd.

Ryan Miller stopped 45 of 46 shots, surrendering a goal to Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson with 1:35 remaining in regulation.

“Would’ve been nice to grind one out and get an ugly one,” Miller said. “You just have to gain points where you can get them. I just needed to make one more save there. It’s disappointing.”

Buffalo peppered Anderson with 35 shots, failing to beat him at all. Thomas Vanek registered nine shots on goal himself, but came up empty.

The Sabres also went 0-for-4 on the powerplay.

“I thought both teams deserved a point,” Vanek said. “We were the first team to break at the end, which is disappointing, but the effort was good again.”

  • Considering I’m the guy who incessantly talks about game presentation, I need to point out that the pregame was pretty damn good and there were noticeable improvements throughout the game. The bracelets they gave away added a nice effect, but overall, it’s better. There’s still some things they can do better, but it’s not like it’s still as bas bad (#unfollowBuffaloWins) as it was. We’ll see what they do for the next game, when there’s not the season opening festivities.
  • Thomas Vanek got killed by many after the game for losing Karlsson on the game’s only goal, but after watching the replay, Tyler Myers has to do better. As Clarke MacArthur came into the zone along the boards, Myers had him closed off before he inexplicably backed off and allowed him space to wait for Karlsson to jump into the play. If he plays MacArthur more aggressively, maybe the play doesn’t even happen. Cody Hodgson and Tyler Ennis were standing around as well. One bad play, one goal, one loss.
  • Vanek just didn’t have his touch. Had numerous glorious chances, but some bad decisions mitigated some of the opportunities. A few passes were just off. But he’s getting those chances at least.
  • Really liked Brian Flynn. He had a solid game. Of course, I haven’t hesitated to talk highly of him here before. 5 shots on goal in 14 minutes, and his line was pretty much the best on the night.
  • Someone test the PA system before the next home game. Couldn’t hear a damn thing. I guess I can’t bitch about the music when I can’t tell what they’re even playing.
  • Many of the rookies who had shaky outings in Detroit settled in. I thought Rasmus Ristolainen had a strong game.
  • Johan Larsson made his Sabres debut and from what little he played, showed some flashes and hustle. He unfortunately got lost in the shuffle thanks to fact John Scott and Pat Kaleta struggled playing a regular shift, not to mention that Kevin Porter was playing too well to get stuck with fourth line duty.
  • Should we be worried or happy when Mark Pysyk is looked at as one of the team’s more reliable defensemen right now?
  • I’ll say it… Drew Stafford wasn’t awful. He didn’t score, but he’s not gonna go scoreless for long if he keeps putting himself in good positions. Relax, guys.

3MI Three Star Selections 
1. Ryan Miller, Buffalo
2. Craig Anderson, Ottawa
3. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa

Official Three Stars of the Game
1. Ryan Miller, Buffalo (45 saves, 1 GA)
2. Craig Anderson, Ottawa (35 saves, 0 GA)
3. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa (GW Goal (1))

Quote of the night:

“We don’t have enough guys playing the right way right now early in the season. So we’re back to square one. ” — Buffalo Sabres coach Ron Rolston


Posted on October 5, 2013, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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