Game Night - 14 seconds after the puck is dropped Drew Stafford buries the puck behind netminder Corey Crawford. Nice pass from Derek Roy. 1-0 Buffalo. 2:43 into the 1st Derek Roy gets his 4th goal of the young season, banging home a rebound off a Jochen Hecht shot. Hecht is back up on line 2, Ennis has been demoted to 3rd line. Lines are as follows:
1 - Vanek-Connolly-Pommer
First Sabres Power Play of the night; it's business as usual. Terrible power play; the puck is just being constantly cleared. Chicago gets a 3 on 2 during our power play and Brent Seabrooke misses an open net. Connolly takes a tripping call on Hossa and ends the power play. 7:44 into the game Patrick Kane gets his 1st of the year on a point shot. Drop pass Assist to Duncan Keith. Keith looks REALLY good. Great skater, with an offensive eye. Always finds the right pass whether it's breaking out or in the offensive zone. Fernando Pisani has a nice hit on Kaleta. Tyler Myers returns the favor, blasting Pisani at the point. Good to see some physical play out of #57. Sabres lead 13-5 in shots after one period.
Niklas Hjalmarsson lines up Jason Pominville from behind and delivers a dirty hit from behind. Pominville's head bounces off the boards and he has to be taken off on a stretcher. Hjalmarsson is tossed; a suspension is most likely coming. I hope he's not suspended next time the Sabres play Chicago. I want revenge. The Sabres failed to score on the resulting 5 min PP. Pominville was not taken to the hospital but did sustain a concussion. Lindy Ruff commenting on the injury, "It'll be addressed."
2nd Period: Chicago's Nick Leddy ties it up 2-2 at 4:08 into the period. Assists to Nick Boynton and Tomas Kopecky. Cody McCormick and Jake Dowell drop the mits and dance. I haven't seen the video but will try to post it at the bottom as soon as it's up on Youtube. Tyler Ennis is back on the first line due to the Pominville injury. Drew Stafford is stopped point blank by Corey Crawford. Shaone Morrisonn with a nice hit on Patrick Sharp. Ryan Miller with a good stop on Patrick Kane.
Marian Hossa sneaks behind the D, takes a long pass from Brian Bickell and buries it past Ryan Miller. 3-2 Chicago. Sabres get another power play due to a Marian Hossa interference penalty. Nothing doing for Buffalo as Crawford makes a great point blank save on Derek Roy. Chicago has outshot Buffalo 17-10 in period 2.
Period 3: Buffalo has a few seconds left on the man advantage to start the 3rd period and squanders it away. The Sabres give up a breakaway on a Dave Bolland outlet pass to Jack Skille. Skille is stopped on a great poke check by Ryan Miller. Steve Montador is having a good game. A TV chart shows him as the NHL leader in blocked shots with 12. 3:36 into the game Marian Hossa walks in off the left wing and fires the puck under the glove of Miller. 4-2 Chicago. Tim Connolly bangs home a back door rebound to bring the Sabres back within one. 4-3 Chicago.
Tomas Kopecky shoots the puck out of the rink and gets a delay of game penalty. Another poor power play for Buffalo with no results. Chicago is constantly standing up the Buffalo forwards and easily clearing the puck. Shaone Morrisonn takes a holding call. Roy chases down Duncan Keith and nearly steals the puck from the All-Star defenseman. Gaustad with a good shot. Morrisonn puts in a point shot, Grier gets a rebound but shoots it right into the goalie. Scrum! Whistle. No goal. Three minutes left, Drew Stafford stopped point blank. Chicago takes a Too Many Men penalty with 2:28 left. Buffalo pulls Ryan Miller with a minute left but are unable to put one by Corey Crawford. Sabres lose 4-3.
Tonight's game was Jochen Hecht's 700th NHL game.
3 Stars: 1)Hossa, 2)Roy, 3)Boynton
Things I liked about tonight's game:
1) The effort of Derek Roy. In addition to scoring his 4th goal in 3 games, Roy appears to be giving exceptional effort and using his speed to backcheck and apply pressure on the PK. I criticise Roy a lot, so i'll give credit where it's due.
2) Tyler Myers' physical play. Myers doled out a few heavy hits. At 6'8", 227 he had better continue this. Myers has great skating and playmaking abilities. He'll be elite if he can add some bruising hits to his repertoire.
3) Shaone Morrisonn is good. I haven't noticed him too much, but that means he's not making mistakes. He's also using his size in giving out some hits. He's an ample replacement for Tallinder.
Things I didn't like:
1) The Pominville hit. Whether it was dirty or not, it's not good. Pominville will be out for a while. Exactly how long? We'll have to wait to find out.
2) Thomas Vanek is nearly invisible. He's had chances, but for being the #1 offensive player he's not making enough plays. Hopefully he'll start scoring soon.
3) The power play is awful. We can't even get it into the zone. It's like watching a tennis match with the puck constantly being shot down the ice.
See everyone on Wednesday at 7pm when the New Jersey Devils come to HSBC Arena.