It took them a little over a year – but the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Ottawa Senators in a regular season hockey game. Thanks to Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller that is.
Vanek had a career high four goals against the Sens – a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in Buffalo since Miro Satan did it in a 7-2 drumming of Atlanta.
With a win tonight, the Sabres will now face the New Jersey Devils in the final game of the regular season, one that will be the deciding game for the second place seed. The Sabres will need a win in regulation on Sunday to take the two spot in the East.
It was not all good news for the Sabres tonight as they have lost Drew Stafford to an upper body injury. This comes in a game of extremely chippy hockey – a game after Ottawa chastized Tampa Bay for not having any respect for a team that still has hockey left to play.
On a night filled with emotion of Alfreddsson’s 1,000 game milestone – that was the only high point for the Sens tonight, as Miller put up another solid effort in defeating the Sens for the first time in 10 tries.
Vanek was not the only one to have a career stat night, Ryan Miller picked up win number 41, besting his previous number by one. It will most likely be Patrick Lalime in net tomorrow night, so Miller’s numbers will stand as complete for the season.
With one game remaining in the regular season, there is only one thing remaining that for the Buffalo Sabres this year, and that is putting together 16 more wins to bring a Stanley Cup to Buffalo.
It is probably not likely going to happen given the caliber of teams they will have to face, but the best part of the NHL is after Monday, the slate is wiped clean and the final 16 teams start anew fighting for hockey’s ultimate prize.