Picking three Buffalo Sabres players as the three stars for tonight’s game against the PIttsburgh Penguins wasn’t easy. It was, overall, a lopsided effort as the top team in the conference absolutely dominated the Sabres, winning 5-1.
But here’s my attempt at three “stars” of the loss:
3. The penalty kill – Hear me out on this one. The Penguins had four power-play opportunities tonight. As a solid team with a lot of lethal players – Malkin, Crosby, Neal, Kunitz, to name a few – the Pens are a dangerous team…. and even moreso on the power play. Although they did score one power play goal tonight against the Sabres, that’s an accomplishment for Buffalo. The Sabres’ penalty kill was able to contain the Penguins’ power play unit to just one goal on four opportunities, so I’m going to say that’s a good accomplishment (albeit a small one.)
2. Ryan Miller – There was a lot of speculation heading into tonight’s game. Was this Miller’s last home game with the Buffalo Sabres organization? If it was, his team didn’t support him incredibly well. He simply had no chance on some of the goals, and he wasn’t quite at his best at other points of the night. Although some will be quick to point out the Crosby goal and say “Olympic preview!!!!”, the fact is that Miller simply didn’t have the support tonight. He did, however, have 29 saves on 34 shots. That included eight saves on nine shots on the power play and one shorthanded save.
1. Drew Stafford – Stafford has continued his hot streak into tonight’s game, scoring for the second consecutive game. He’s got six points in his last five games now, going pointles in just one of those games (Jan. 25 against Columbus). Tonight, Stafford had a team-high four shots and was 50 percent in the faceoff circle.
Topics: Buffalo Sabres