The second period remains a major concern for the Buffalo Sabres as they let a two goal lead disintegrate into having to play from behind. On top of that, continued woes on the power play resulted in the game having to be much closer than what it needed to be.
The Ottawa Senators have won just one game in their last seven – a two goal lead should have been enough to set the team on their heels and send Buffalo up in the standings with a much needed two points. You had a perfect storm brewing for a good two points and a huge momentum boost.
Thanks to Drew Stafford, Buffalo was able to escape with at least one point, but at the same time the Ottawa Senators continued to stay alive by getting at least a single point.
In the compacted season where you are only playing Eastern Conference opponents, three point games are going to be the killer of the Buffalo Sabres. Sure, Buffalo could go on a tear and put up enough wins to make it look like they are making a late season push to get into the playoffs, but everytime you give your opponent the extra point – you make the climb up the standings even harder.
Ville Leino made an instant impact on the lineup, he almost had his first goal since starting the season since missing the first 27 games with a hip injury.
Ottawa has been able to get 11 straight one goal games – one shy of the NHL record set at 12 – the way the Sens are playing – they will no doubt reach that record and set a new one. It is almost a necessity given the fact that they lost Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson to long term injuries.
Chris Neil continues to be a joke in the National Hockey League.
Can’t fault Ryan Miller on the game winning goal – it was a well placed shot – that until it had gone in – Buffalo had done a great job of blocking shots and killing off the penalty to Christian Erhoff that put the Senators up with an extra man with just under 3 minutes to go in the extra period.
Ottawa showed great resolve – they stuck with their game plan. The Buffalo Sabres played 20 minutes tonight, and sat back and let the Senators bring the game to them for the remaining 45 minutes. At this point, all you can do is sit back and wait for tomorrow and the Washington Capitals.