The Buffalo Sabres were looking to gain back some momentum at home tonight as they faced the Carolina Hurricanes for their second game in a row, but they came up short losing 3-1. The atmosphere was noticeably quiet tonight in The First Niagara Center as the fans in Buffalo seemed to be somewhat demoralized by their tough loss on the road last night in Raleigh, Carolina.
The first two periods of tonight’s game were characterized by an all out defensive fight between both teams, and it looked to be a battle of the goaltenders. The hits were flying for the Sabres and their play was noticeably more physical tonight as they outhit the Canes 27-14.
It wasn’t until the third period that either team got on the scoreboard, and it was none other than Thomas Vanek who got the first goal of the game on the power play for Buffalo. The Canes quickly came back and tied it up less than two minutes later on their power play that derailed the momentum for the Sabres. The rest of the period was all Carolina, out-shooting Buffalo 18-13. Jay Harrison got the go-ahead goal for Carolina late in the period and the Sabres were not able to respond. Vanek had a costly pentalty late in the game that killed Buffalo’s chance to get back into it.
The line of Vanek, Hodgson, and Pominville continues to produce for Buffalo, but they need to be able to rely on more than those three for their offensive production. The question going forward for the Sabres is going to be who can step up and start producing. The team will continue to struggle if they cant find any offense and it needs to happen soon. In the post game press conference, Lindy Ruff said he planned on mixing up some of the lines but he will keep the first line the way it i. Hopefully this will give a spark in their offense going forward.
Miller was solid in net for Buffalo tonight, but he can only do so much for the team if they cant get it done on the scoreboard. There was no shortage of shots from either team tonight as Carolina barely out-shot the Sabres 42-41.
My eyes were focused on Tyler Myers tonight as he came out aggressive and threw his body around early in the game, but his play seemed to taper off quickly as the mistakes piled up for the young Sabres defenseman. Myers has yet to look good on the ice for the Sabres so far this season.
It’s clear Ruff’s confidence in Mikhail Grigorenko is beginning to fade as he didn’t see the ice at all in the third period. This may very well be his last game in Buffalo this season as the fifth game of his tryout is rapidly approaching this weekend.
The Sabres take on the Capitals this Sunday in DC.
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