So normally I like to put up a post game, well, post game. Last night I enjoyed the company of my neighbor, step-father, and step-uncles for some beer, food, and the Sabres home opener.
What was supposed to be a “hockey” party turned into a hey, lets watch the Yankees game instead party. It was that ugly.
A night after the Sabres played a complete game against the Ottawa Senators, a game in which they won; the Sabres mailed it in and allowed the Rangers to dominate.
Rangers rookie Derek Stepan started things off with a goal just over halfway through the first. Brandon Dubinsky made it 2-0 to end the first. I hadn’t given up hope yet, because I watched the Sabres fall down 2-0 before in the first, and then turn it on in the second and third periods to overcome.
The second period didn’t look any better, until Jordan Leopold made up for his huge gaffe in the Ottawa game – blasting one through from the blue line. It looked like the Sabres might limp back into the game.
And then the rookie show took over again, as Stepan netted goals two and three of his first career hat trick, in his first career game. In the Rangers 85 year history – that had never been done before. He is only the fourth player in the history of the league (since 1927) to do it. Two others that have done it, Real Cloutier in 1979 for the Quebec Nordiques, and Alex Smart for the Montreal Canadiens in 1943.
The task ahead of the Sabres looked daunting, and the third period started out with the final nail in the coffin for the Sabres – as Christensen scored early. Leopold struck again on the power play, followed by a Derek Roy goal, giving him three on the year, but an empty netter at 18:35 sealed the deal for the Rangers.
Tyler Myers had what will hopefully amount to his entire sophomore slump, as his game was absolutely horrible, as two of the Rangers goals were partly his fault.
One positive to take from the game is the special teams play. The penalty kill remains perfect – not allowing any goals, while the power play scored again. The Sabres need to figure out how to play in back to back situations, as they have a home and home every weekend, the next two Fridays the Sabres host Montreal and Ottawa respectively, followed immediately by away games against Chicago (Oct 16) and New Jersey (Oct 23). The last weekend of the month, the Sabres will play in Atlanta on Friday, then in Dallas on Saturday.
The Sabres have today off, and will host the defending Stanley Cup champions on Monday night at 7pm.