And here is where the fault with the shootout arises. The Buffalo Sabres will go on record with a 1-0 win, but who scored the game winning goal? You can’t give it to Thomas Vanek, despite it being his slapshot in the shootout that won the game, because goals in the shootout don’t count. I could go on and on about how bad the shootout is, that it is more of a gimmick than pure hockey, but at the end of the night, we have a clear cut winner and not a tie. It was also the first time the Buffalo Sabres were ever able to beat Brian Elliot in an NHL contest.
Ryan Miller looks like he is back after a sluggish start that was likely the result of his injury. He has now played 148:14 of shutout hockey, not having allowed a goal since the 16:46 of the second period of the Montreal game on Saturday November 27th. Watching the game tonight, I don’t know if you could classified this double shutout in the same league as the Hasek and Brodeur double shutout, despite the fact that both Ryan Miller and Brian Elliott played quite well – or if the 0-0 score after 65 minutes a result or byproduct of two offenses that are struggling to find the back of the net on a consistent basis.
Despite turning tonights efforts into a three point affair, the Sabres have put back to back wins together, grabbing four out of a possible four (five if you count tonight as a three point game) points so far in December. Buffalo travels home tonight after the game, before travelling to Boston to face Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins on Tuesday.
It was a busy night in the Northeast, with every team in the division picking up a point. Buffalo grabbed two, Ottawa grabbed one, Montreal picked up two by defeating San Jose; and Toronto picked up two by defeating Boston in a shootout, giving Boston one point.
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