On a two game ‘tear’, the Buffalo Sabres played host to the New Jersey Devils in a matinee game at the First Niagara Center. Nothing like fisticuffs just seconds in to get both teams into the game…even if the fight between Steve Ott and David Clarkson was a dud.
The first period was relatively entertaining and both teams had plenty of power play opportunities, but failed to cash, in resulting in two bagels at the end of the first. Of the four first period powerplay opportunities for the Sabres, Christian Ehroff negated the Buffalo advantage TWICE just seconds into their powerplay with two god-awful penalties. Shame on Ehroff for doing nothing to help his team who has the worst PP in the league.
Shorthanded, Jason Pominville scored first for the Buffalo Sabres at the seven minute mark of the second period followed shortly thereafter by Steve Bernier to even it up at one. The Sabres’ penalty kill was incredible during the second period, stopping three New Jersey powerplays.
The third period was packed with scoring action and Adam Henrique opened the floodgates just over a minute in. Pominville notched his second of the night just two minutes later with assists coming from Cody Hodgson and Ott. Mikhail Grigorenko tallied an assist as Jochen Hecht put away a dribbler halfway through the period.
Just as things seemed to be settling in the Sabres’ favor, in the blink of an eye, the bottom fell out. Adrei Loktionov tied the game twelve minutes in by outmaneuvering Ryan Miller in front of the net. For the final eight minutes of the game, Buffalo seemed like they were their old selves…bad. With a plethora of icing calls against the Sabres’, all lines looked like they were running on ‘E’. Luckily, New Jersey did not have any spectacular chances late in the third period and it was off to overtime we went.
Nathan Gerbe drew a great roughing penalty at the beginning of overtime after throwing his body around in John Scott’s absence. The Buffalo Sabres had two powerplay opportunities in OT, but could not capitalize on either – even if the last one was with just 20 seconds left. Pominville and Tyler Ennis put their pentaly shots away, making Hedberg look silly in the process. Ryan Miller was LIGHTS OUT in the shootout; shutting down both of the Devils shooters and chirping Adam Henrique on his way to center ice to celebrate Buffalo’s third straight win. Good win, boys.