Knee-Jerk Reaction: Buffalo Sabres vs. New Jersey Devils


Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Alright, Buffalo Sabres fans – or any hockey fan, really. Let me ask you something. Do you ever reach that point in a 0-0 hockey game where you start to say to yourself: “Okay, come on, SOMEBODY score already!” I usually hit that point around the middle of the third period, which is what happened during tonight’s Buffalo Sabres game. “Come on,” I said. “COME ON!” Of course, I guess they couldn’t hear me in New Jersey, because no one scored until the overtime period – and then, it wasn’t the result I was looking for.

Tonight, the Buffalo Sabres looked for their second consecutive win, in hopes of taking both games of a back-to-back series this weekend. They’d come away with three of four possible points, which isn’t bad, and now have a few days off until their next game.

My first observation – and probably the one many fans are having right now – is this. WHY, WHY, WHY is it that former players always seem to score against the Buffalo Sabres? Tonight, it was forward Steve Bernier who scored the game-winning goal 4:19 into the overtime period to secure a victory for the New Jersey Devils. I swear I’m not bitter, but really – of all the guys on the ice? Come on.

The power play has to be one of the things that the Buffalo Sabres work on. They were 0-for-3 in tonight’s game and had plenty of chances and energy, but just couldn’t get a goal. Last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Buffalo Sabres were 1-for-4. Prior to that, they were 0-for-2 against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday. Those numbers may not look like much, but that’s a lot of time and many missed opportunities that could be used to take a lead, tie a game or make a difference in a win or loss.

One essentially useless thing of note: Buffalo Sabres forward Brian Flynn took the first penalty of his NHL career tonight after going the previous 52 games without one. That marked the longest active streak in the league before he took a hooking penalty at the 4:57 mark of the third period. Let’s all take a minute to be thankful that the Devils didn’t take advantage of the power play, and the Sabres were able to get at least a point.

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth was solid in tonight’s game, stopping 23 shots in the loss. The game-winner was simply a great shot by Bernier, and Enroth certainly kept the Sabres in the game at many different points through the regulation and overtime with some incredible saves. He was awarded with the third star of the game, a well-deserved honor in my eyes.

I’ll leave you with something that many Buffalo Sabres fans will be talking about after tonight’s game: during the overtime period, after the New Jersey Devils scored the game winner, Devils center Adam Henrique had a bit of an altercation with Sabres captain Steve Ott. Ott pushed Henrique, who proceeded to head-butt Ott in the shoulder, which resulted in a post-game scuffle between the pair. I’ll ask you, Sabre Noise readers…. what did you think of all this?

After playing three games in four nights, the Buffalo Sabres now have a few days off before they host the New York Rangers on December 5. The Rangers, meanwhile, have two games before then, hosting both the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets.