If I told you the Buffalo Sabres were going to get into a goal scoring contest with the Tampa Bay Lightning, most of you would think that the Sabres wouldn’t stand a chance right – well tonight the Sabres proved us wrong. In the past two games, the Buffalo Sabres anemic offense has flipped the switch and come alive, scoring a combined 12 goals in the past two games. It seems like the “short list” of Buffalo Sabres are looking to make things very interesting as we wind the final 30 or so games down and fight for a playoff position.
Drew Stafford nets another hat trick, and “trips” up TBL goaltender Dwayne Roloson on a Jordan Leopold. Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News called it goaltender interference from Twitter (@BNHarrington) but Stafford was in no way able to prevent him from running into Dwayne Roloson, Dwayne Roloson was way outside of the crease, and Dwayne Roloson should be nominated for an Oscar or an Emmy for not only his performance of the dive, but also for his supporting role of jumping up and complaining about the “non” call.
Regardless, the TB Lightning lost all composure at that point, and let the Sabres rattle them further by inflating the score from a manageable amount, to an insurmountable 7-3 lead. Tampa would add one more power play goal to make it 7-4, but that’s where it would end.
If the offense wasn’t the story of the night, the fact that Ryan Miller has now started 29 games in a row, his only respite being when he was pulled in favor of Patrick Lalime because of a poor start. He is now just five starts shy of his personal record, and is only ten off the franchise record set in 1976-1977 by Gerry Desjardins.
The Buffalo Sabres are still not tough enough to take on any team in the NHL for a best of seven series where defense and toughness are going to win the series, but they are making a very strong case to be considered in the top eight teams. Buffalo is now only three points back of inactive Atlanta, and four points behind the Carolina Hurricanes who picked up a loser point tonight by losing in Overtime. The Buffalo Sabres next face off against the Florida Panthers, as they will try again to make it to three wins in a row for the first time this season. Florida is a very dangerous opponent for the Buffalo Sabres to be facing at this juncture, as they are 4-1 in their last five, while the Panthers are 1-4 in that same stretch. The last time the Sabres faced the Panthers hungry for a win, The Panthers offense did a lot of talking, and the Sabres did a lot of losing.
Tags: Atlanta Thrashers Buffalo News Carolina Hurrcanes Drew Stafford Dwayne Roloson Florida Panthers Jordan Leopold Mike Harrington Ottawa Senators Stanley Cup Stanley Cup Playoffs Tampa Bay Lightning Tim Conolly Toughness Twitter