It wasn’t long ago that the Sabres looked at the standings and saw themselves sitting dead last in the East. It wasn’t long ago that they were talking lottery pick instead of playoffs. But tonight, the Sabres will go to sleep sitting in 8th place, in prime position to win the last spot in the playoffs.
(Well, whenever they go to bed, after they spend the night downtown at the bars…)
Fresh off a convincing 4-1 win over New York the night before, the Sabres rebounded from an early deficit and earned a 3-1 win over the visiting Minnesota Wild.
Thomas Vanek tied the game early in the second period, knocking in a loose puck in front of the net. Buffalo would carry play for most of the middle period, outshooting Minnesota 17-5.
The Sabres took the lead 1:45 into the third period, as Tyler Myers ripped a point shot that found the leg of Marcus Foligno before hitting the back of the net to give Buffalo a lead they would never relinquish. Cody Hodgson scored a buzzer-beating empty netter to add the insurance.
Ryan Miller turned aside 24 of 25 shots, earning his seventh win in his last nine games.
Buffalo moved past idle Washington with 84 points, with the Capitals holding a game in hand, which they’ll play tomorrow evening when they host these Wild. The Sabres travel to DC on Monday for Tuesday’s showdown with the Caps.
- Corey Tropp was the well deserved second star. He made the play in the corner that paved the way for the Vanek goal. He was a physical presence all night. That line is developing some nice chemistry. They chipped in two goals tonight.
- Can I copyright the “Travis Turnbull is Adam Mair” comparison? I was on that early. Spent five seconds more on the ice (5:05 TOI) than in the box (5 PIM) tonight.
- Tyler Myers made the play on the Foligno goal with a good point shot, but I thought he was overall bad with the puck. Senseless giveaways, fumbling the puck at the blueline and making poor decisions. It didn’t kill them, but it didn’t help. He can be better. Read the rest of this entry
As the Buffalo Sabres have resurrected their playoff hopes, there have been many key victories to get them back into contention. It could be a Friday night win in New York City that may have allowed the team to escape the casket their season had been placed.
Drew Stafford scored twice, and Tyler Ennis added a goal and two assists to lead the Sabres to a 4-1 win over the East-leading New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
“We’ve put a lot of work into getting to the position where we’re at right now, but obviously we’re not there yet,” Stafford said. “We’re not worried about the other teams around us. We know if we play well, take care of our business and win the games, we’ll be sitting just fine. Right now we haven’t accomplished anything.”
Ryan Miller was spectacular in goal, stopping 26 shots and outdueling Hart-candidate Henrik Lundqvist at the other end. Miller stopped all 13 Rangers shots in the third, allowing the Sabres to pull away.
Travis Turnbull also scored his first NHL goal for Buffalo, who with the win, had briefly vaulted into 8th place before Washington picked up a point in an overtime loss to Winnipeg. The Capitals and Sabres are tied with 82 points, but Washington holds the tiebreaker.
- Looking at the remaining schedule coming into this game, you could’ve justified saying this was a game the team would be alright not getting two points. The best team in the conference on the road? Maybe that’s asking too much. They went in and picked up bonus points.
- Congrats to Travis Turnbull on his first NHL goal. Didn’t get a chance to do a recap of his debut Wednesday, but he made enough of an impact in the mere 3:27 he played Friday. The kid reminds me of Adam Mair. Shows a lot of hustle but too often looks lost. He let Brian Boyle drift to the front of the net undetected on the lone Rangers goal. Good for the kid to get rewarded for his hard work, but I don’t see him earning a spot in the lineup if the team is competitive. Read the rest of this entry