Overreactions: Sabres score goals (plural), fall to Bolts in overtime

183664516_slideOne of the storylines through the Sabres’ 0-3 start was the ineffective powerplay, which came in at sparkling 0-for-13 after three outings. They fixed it. But the win column… that remains uninhabited.

Twice jumping out to one-goal leads thanks to the man-advantage, the Buffalo Sabres couldn’t close the deal thanks to a dubious tying goal in the third period and an overtime winner to Tampa’s Alex Killorn as the Lightning handed the home team a 3-2 defeat in extra time.

Cody Hodgson and Jamie McBain both scored their first of the season for Buffalo, who drops to 0-3-1 on the young season. Both assisted on each other’s goals, while Thomas Vanek got helpers on both as well.

What ended up being the turning point in the game was a confusing play in the third period. As Buffalo controlled the puck in the Tampa end, one of the officials raised their hand for a delayed penalty. Seconds later, McBain ripped a shot on goal that Vanek deflected past Tampa goalie Ben Bishop, but a whistle blew before the puck entered the net. Confusion reigned before Vanek was sent to the box for high-sticking, not only which should’ve stopped the play much earlier, but that replays indicated was an awful call.

“I thought he was a little bit off today,” said Vanek, when asked about the officiating. “It happens. Too bad.”

22 seconds later, Lightning forward Teddy Purcell tied the game at 2-2, and the overtime result followed.

Jhonas Enroth was solid in goal for the Sabres, stopping 31 shots as Ryan Miller remained sidelined with an injury.

  • Our goal song is “Song 2” by Blur. Uninspired but solid. I’m ok with it. Signature goal songs come when teams go on deep playoff runs. This team isn’t making one of those. Better than “Lonely Boy” at least.
  • At some point we should really start getting concerned about Mikhail Grigorenko and his ability to develop in Buffalo. Playing him with John Scott and Patrick Kaleta isn’t helping anyone.
  • In his season debut, I really liked what I saw out of Marcus Foligno. Threw some big hits early, including one on Valtteri Filppula that incited a fight between Foligno and the inexplicably named Radko Gudas. Disappointing to see him pass up the golden opportunity he had in the third period as he walked down the slot only to attempt to feed Drew Stafford at the goal mouth. Sometimes it’s better to be selfish.
  • The Sabres game presentation department repeated the extended introduction from the home opener, minus the player intros. I can’t say enough about how the new equipment is improving the product, but they gotta cut it down a bit and rearrange it, because it doesn’t build up. They’re getting there. We’re close.
  • I’m impressed that Steve Ott could even reach Victor Hedman’s head to get his helmet off during their fight. That’s a big dude.
  • McBain had a hell of an outing, and certainly asserted himself in the lineup. Will be interesting to see who gets the boot if Tallinder comes back. I say if because there’s nothing saying he won’t be the odd man out.
  • I don’t see Rasmus Ristolainen being the odd man out. He actually led both teams in TOI after one period, even though he ended at only 16:35. Seems to settle in more and more each game.
  • Enroth has been really good in his two games, and hasn’t gotten the goal support he needs. I don’t think Rolston will hesitate to get him in early on (I bet he plays one of the back-to-back next week for sure) but if Miller plays well too, what’s he going to do?
  • Lots of talk pregame from fans about the soft secondary ticket market. They announced 18,243, but there were probably only 16,000 in the building. Tickets on StubHub were being sold below $10 today. The organization has to do better to convince people to show up.

3MI Three Star Selections 
1. Jamie McBain, Buffalo
2. Jhonas Enroth, Buffalo
3. Whoever scores the winning goal

Official Three Stars of the Game
1. Jamie McBain, Buffalo (PP Goal (1), assist)
2. Alex Killorn, TB (GW-OT Goal (1))
3. Jhonas Enroth, Buffalo (31 saves, 3 GA)

Quote of the night:

“It didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. ” — Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jamie McBain

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Posted on October 8, 2013, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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