The Buffalo Sabres won their 5th straight game at home and recorded their league worst 12th win of the season. To me it was an up and down game, and I think the Sabres are fortunate to walk away with a win. The Devils governed much of the game, but the Sabres pulled through on the power play, and ended the game victorious!
Here is a look at the change in lines that you saw tonight (comment below with your thoughts):
- Moulson – Ennis – Girgensons
- Ott – Larrson – D’Agostini
- Omark – Foligno – Flynn
- Ellis – Konopka – Scott
NJ seemed to be the more physical team in the beginning of the game, but oddly enough the Sabres out-hit the Devils by the end of the first period and game. Buffalo had New Jersey on their heels right away though, as they were applying lots of pressure in the zone – they were doing well getting the puck deep and winning puck battles in the corners.
Jan 4, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Linus Omark (17) and New Jersey Devils defenseman Mark Fayne (7) battle for a loose puck during the first period at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Not sure how you feel about Linus Omark, but I am back and forth about him. He works hard at times, and gets into the corners – which is what I saw of him during the opening minutes. Other times I see him sitting back in the offensive zone, but that could be due to him still becoming familiar with the Sabres system.
The tides quickly turned in the first period – the Sabres seemed to really have the momentum out of the gate, but then the Devils turned it up a notch and began to dictate the play a bit more. Thankfully Miller was on his game….again.
Did anyone even notice the two minutes of power play time in the 1st period? (Maybe I was too zoned into the game & writing?!?) On the other hand, the Sabres had a fairly good penalty kill – which basically ended the uneventful first period.
If the Sabres played 1/2 to 3/4 as well as they did in the opening 5 minutes for the whole 1st period, they would of most likely taken a lead into the second period. It didn’t look like the Devils played last night at all – 5-3 loss vs the Hawks in NJ. They didn’t have to travel far, but still, they outworked the Sabres heavily at times.
Jan 4, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (35) makes a save on Buffalo Sabres right wing Brian Flynn (65) during the second period at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
What about that chemistry between Brian Flynn and Omark during one the Sabres better chances of the 2nd period? What a play!
Thank god Matt Moulson scored on the Sabres power play at the end of the 2nd period. The game had just started to get exciting and Buffalo delivered with a goal and a power play goal at that!
Mike Weber put up the best hit of the night! He decked Andrei Loktionov and then proceeded to fight Ryane Clowe who stepped up to him after the hit – wasn’t a great fight at all, but nonetheless a fight!
What do you think…Tyler Myers suspension? Myers ended up hitting Dainius Zubrus high and made contact with his head midway through the 3rd period. Not sure it is suspension worthy, but it will most likely be reviewed by Brendan Shanahan.
Matt D’Agostini scored his first goal as a Buffalo Sabre (1st of the season as well), and it was a huge one in this game as it was the game winning goal- plus it was another power play goal!
The power play went 2-5, which was probably the highlight of the game. Zenon Konopka also deserves a little credit, as he played well in his first game as a Sabre. What was your reaction to this game? Share your thoughts below!
Be sure to check back shortly for more Sabre Noise post-game coverage!