Following a disheartening loss against the Montreal Canadiens this past Thursday, the Buffalo Sabres were back home at the First Niagara Center today battling the Philadelphia Flyers for bragging rights at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Despite being outshot in this one, the Buffalo Sabres managed to outlast the Flyers and win it by a final of 1-0.
The big news in Buffalo today was the signing of UMass-Lowell defenseman Chad Ruhwedel to an entry level contract. This comes after losing defensemen Tyler Myers for the remainder of the season to a broken leg. Ruhwedel made his first career NHL start for Buffalo today and saw a decent amount of ice time, totaling 13 minutes through 18 shifts.
Patrick Kaleta got the crowd into it early on by squaring off against Philadelphia’s Oliver Lauridsen just a minute and a half into the game. Kaleta landed about a dozen good ones before the fight got broken up.
The first period remained scoreless throughout but there was no shortage of physical play between these two teams.
The Sabres trailed The Flyers in shots 6-10 after the first.
Second verse, same as the first. The scoreless drought between these two teams continued into the second period as neither team gained any ground on the scoreboard.
Jhonas Enroth continued to look solid in net for Buffalo making some key saves to keep the Flyers off the board.
Despite a valiant effort poured on by Philadelphia late in the third period, the Sabres were able to hold on and win it by a final score of 1-0. Jhonas Enroth recorded his third career shutout and looked great in net for Buffalo, earning the first star of the game.
I know what we were all thinking today, who the heck is Chad Ruhwedel? I can just picture it in my mind: Chad’s out last night with his hockey buddies at the local college bar, and then next thing he knows he’s on the phone with Buffalo and they’re asking him if he’s interested in playing some hockey tomorrow. Tough life, right?
There’s really nothing to complain about with this move by Buffalo. At this point with their season, why not. They pick up a good prospect for almost nothing and he gets a few games to try-out this season. With Tyler Myers out for the rest of the year, I don’t see anything wrong with giving this kid a shot. The Sabres are at a point this year where they’re just playing for pride and jockeying for a better draft position.
With Ryan Miller‘s future in Buffalo uncertain, it’s reliving to see Enroth playing well between the pipes. He really carried the load in this one, stopping all 29 of Philadelphia’s shots. Honestly, the Sabres got fortunate that Philly didn’t break the shutout and find the back of the net late in the third. I had to cover my eyes the last few minutes of the game with the constant barrage of shots and scoring chances. If the Flyers had played with that kind of offensive pressure for the majority of the game, it would have been a much different story.
The Sabres are back home tomorrow taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning.