You would have never thought that the Buffalo Sabres would skate against one of the more higher scoring teams in the National Hockey League and make it seem like they were playing the New Jersey Devils. Through six regulation periods and two overtime periods – the Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals have totaled four goals, two per each team.
1-1 regulation ties that evolved into shootouts. The positive thing however is that through two games against the games most prolific goal scorer was held off the score sheet for 70 minutes of hockey time.
Third Star: Cody Hodgson. Nets the only goal in the shootout to end the game, and give Buffalo Sabres their second victory in as many games against the Washington Capitals. Just elevated off the injured reserve and thrust back into the lineup – Hodgson makes his presence known in the shootout, something that not many guys on these two teams can do against each other apparently. Hodgson also makes the heads up play to get Ennis the game tying goal.
Second Star: Tyler Ennis. Heads up play by the Buffalo Sabres powerplay unit for getting Ennis the second star of the game. Heads up play to get the puck to the front of the net, and Ennis made himself some time and space to get the puck into open ice and popped into the net. Ennis has been a bright spot of the Buffalo Sabres offense this season and continues to put pucks in the net. Ennis now leads the team with nine goals – tied with Cody Hodgson.
First Star: Ryan Miller. Is there any doubt? He continues to thrive in the net despite the stagnant offense in front of him. While this contest against the Capitals wasn’t as trying as his 49 save effort the last time they met – he still had to be solid between the pipes, and he did come up with a couple of big saves.
The Buffalo Sabres are going to get zero attention from the National Hockey League when it comes to the end of the year regular season awards. Sitting at the bottom of the league will do that. Ryan Miller however, is showing that he should be a strong candidate for the Vezina – and could easily be entertained as a Hart candidate – because he is the reason the Buffalo Sabres have even gotten as many wins as they have.
Sure Ennis and Hodgson scored – but this win was another Ryan Miller victory.