The Buffalo Sabres held on to a small 3-2 lead last night over the New York Rangers. It wasn’t a pretty win, but the task was accomplished.
Brad Boyes contributed on offense, which is exactly what we brought him in for, and Tyler Myers Jochen Hecht add goals as the Rangers found themselves in a much tighter playoff picture.
The Buffalo Sabres are within three of New York, Carolina is within one of New York – and the Sabres have games in hand and games against both of those clubs.
Even Tim Connolly decided that it was good time to start playing hockey, he didn’t end up on the score sheet, but he was seen laying down in front of shots on the penalty kill. I still wish this team would have moved him at the deadline, but if he is going to contribute then we may have to revisit having him on the team, at least until July 1. In no way will I ever be on the side of resigning him to another deal.
The game last night was one that you wouldn’t normally expect from Henrik Lundqvist and Ryan Miller, as both goalies were caught out of position and gave up some nasty rebounds – normally when the olympians meet its a slim game margin of one or two goals, and rebounds are at a minimum.
If the Buffalo Sabres want to prove the naysayers wrong on this road trip, they need to win more than they lose, something they couldn’t do on the last home stand. A win Thursday night thrusts them into the playoff picture, jumping Carolina, and puts them closer to catching the Rangers. With a pretty tough road schedule through the remainder of the season, it will be difficult for this team who has won three times in a row only once to maintain a playoff spot, but it last night, it looked like the team wanted it.
The officiating at last nights game was horrific as well – I have to agree with the New York Rangers, the first two Buffalo powerplays were borderline at best – but things were evened out later when Weber was sent off after trying to take out Sean Avery at the blue line, I don’t think the intent to trip was there, I think Weber was going for a clean hit, the way Avery twisted to move from it is what caused the penalty – but oh well. What I didn’t like was the fact that Buffalo was the only team penalized, when a Rangers player clearly dropped the gloves and engaged Weber in a less than spirited contest in which Weber wanted no part of. It should have been four on four hockey, Weber for tripping, and the Rangers for roughing as they stood up for Sean Avery (really? who does that?).
Regardless of how the score ended up being the way it did, the Sabres won despite a team that is still showing major signs of distress on the blue line.
Thursday is another night, and another chance to pick up a huge two points.