Jan 25, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) makes a save on the shot of Buffalo Sabres left wing Ville Leino (23)] during the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres At Pittsburgh Penguins Knee Jerk Reaction

“I just know how good he is. You play him as often as you can.”

For a remark like that, you have to see why Ryan Miller is such an important piece of the Buffalo Sabres. Nolan believes in Miller, all of Buffalo believes in him. It’s crazy to think that his name is now leading the rumor mills.

Jan 27, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller (30) looks down during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center. Penguins beat the Sabres 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Even with sub par numbers, it was Miller that saw the time in between the pipes tonight, as the Buffalo Sabres took on the Metropolitan-division-leading Pittsburgh Penguins tonight on the road, dropping 3-0 to the strong home team that is the Penguins.

It’s no secret that Miller’s Achilles heel is anytime he deals with the Pens, even worse, when they take it to the Consol Energy Center to try and build off of a win against the Jackets. If they can beat them despite their bad luck against Columbus, then they can possibly turn the tide against Pittsburgh, though it would prove to be a challenge.

Newly appointed Craig Patrick was behind enemy lines tonight, hoping his new team could hang on and pull a couple of points from a team that he basically constructed about a decade ago.

Long story short, Buffalo played about one and a half good periods…if that.

To be brutally honest, Buffalo played sloppy all over. The first period was not the easiest to watch, at all.

First off, Ville Leino should not be on the first line. Great. he can dance with the puck, make some decent passes, and try his hardest to even score, but he goes on the first line and we get shut out. That says so much to me. We reward no scoring by a first line job. I don’t understand at all.

Miller was bullied from start to finish.

Pittsburgh was typical Pittsburgh, they’re one of the deepest teams in the league each season, it’s no shocker that they rolled over Buffalo, despite a 32 save effort by Miller.

Looking at the game, Buffalo played as if fellow goaltender Jhonas Enroth was net. Receiving no scoring effort or much defensive work, it looked almost as if Buffalo took a major step back from the current successes that they were riding.

Locked at a goose egg each, Buffalo escaped with a few scratches and bruises, but their luck couldn’t stay in their favor forever, especially against this team.

Buffalo then picked up the pace that they were so drastically lacking in the first, notching three shots in the opening couple of minutes, but were unable to solve Fleury. The next forty minutes were better, both teams equaled 19-19 in shots against, but Buffalo just could not score as if their life depended on it.

A perfect example of which, was Chris Kunitz’s opening goal in the second period.

Making a fool of Jamie McBain, Sidney Crosby was given a gift off of such a lazy play. McBain just shanked picking up the puck, and just like that, all of Buffalo hung their heads. Thankfully we have a goaltender like Miller, who through two periods held Pittsburgh to a 2-0 lead, stopping 23 of 25 shots.

The third didn’t get much better, Buffalo was stuffed each and every time they attempted to make something happen, which wasn’t very much.

They were in Fleury’s face in the third, trying so desperately to get a goal, but were stymied each and every time.

Overall, I think they played okay. Some things were good, but obviously a team isn’t going to go very far if they’re not going to score. They showed resilience where they needed it by picking up the pressure, but a lack of scoring will kill a team just as fast.


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