Home NHL Buffalo Sabres Sabres Salvage a Point From League’s Top Team

Sabres Salvage a Point From League’s Top Team

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Buffalo, NY – The Sabres fell to the Predators 2-1 Sunday via the shoot-out in front of a sold out crowd at the First Niagara Center. Despite being out-shot 38-17, Buffalo kept the game close thanks in large part to the stellar goaltending of Michal Neuvirth. Neuvirth stopped everything the Preds threw at him and then some.

“He’s fantastic and has been keeping us in it” Tyler Ennis commented after the game. Neuvirth is now 1-2-2 since taking over as the team’s number one goaltender. He allowed two of the four shoot-out attempts he faced but was the sole reason Buffalo had a chance to win.

gio preds PG
Brian Gionta PG

Buffalo jumped out to a 1-0 lead late in the 2nd period when Zemgus Girgensons made a sweet pass to Ennis who was cruising into the Preds zone unaccounted for. He put a nice deke on back-up goaltender Carter Hutton for his 15th of the season. Nashville then took an undisciplined penalty at the end of period 2 giving Buffalo the man advantage heading into the third.

Buffalo took it to Nashville early in the third and had some good scoring oportunities but failed to capitalize while on the man advantage. Then it was their turn to take an undisciplined penalty. With a scrum breaking out in front of Neuvirth between Torrey Mitchell and Colin Wilson, Zach Bogosian decided to enter the fracas. Picking up a double minor leaving Buffalo short-handed. “Zach can’t take that penalty” Coach Ted Nolan said during his post-game press conference. “A player has to know the score, the period and those things, I know he wants to get in there.”

Just under two minutes later Mike Ribiero tied the game taking some of the energy out of the building. There were “Let’s Go Buffalo” chants heard throughout the arena, the fans certainly weren’t embracing the tank on this night or so it seemed. Good for them, good for the players. They battled hard against the cream of the crop.

Buffalo had a 4-2 edge in shots in the OT.

sabs preds
300 Level

To Nashville’s credit they were coming off a 3-2 loss last night against Philadelphia (shoot-out). They peppered Buffalo in the first 2 periods and found themselves on the man advantage five times in that span. The Sabres special teams were called upon often, a total of 10 power plays for Nashville and they converted when they needed to.

Buffalo was not so successful on the power play going 0-5. Cody Hodgson had a total of 4:48 minutes of ice. He had one shift in the third period. Johan Larsson who has been up with the club for the better part of a week did get bumped from the 4th to the 3rd line midway through the 2nd period and managed to create some chances. We’ll see if Nolan rewards him Monday night in Columbus.

murray
He’ll Trade You!

Nikita Zadorov was a healthy scratch due to a team violation, his 2nd of the season. If you are keeping score on him you may want to note that he reported to camp twenty-five pounds overweight, was benched at the Traverse City Tournament, then after the All-Star break missed a team meeting.  Apparently he was late to another meeting this morning that led to his seat in the press box. Don’t be surprised if the Sabres have his bags packed for Colorado in the morning. GM Tim Murray looked none too pleased and it had nothing to do with the team in 30th place.

Torrey Mitchell won twelve face-off’s leading all players and is still a hot commodity among NHL GM’s. Mark Pysyk and Jake McCabe were summoned this morning to get their butt’s to Western New York. Each played well. Pysyk saw 16:51 of ice and saw minutes on the penalty kill. McCabe registered three hits. Both players could stay up for a while as Josh Gorges will be sidelined for the remainder of the season and Mike Weber is expected to miss up to three weeks.

As mentioned above next game for Buffalo is Tuesday night against the Blue Jackets. Columbus beat Buffalo earlier in the season 3-1. The Sabres return home Thursday night to face the Vancouver Canucks and potentially Ryan Miller who returns to Buffalo for the first time as an opponent. Miller however was caught up in a collision Sunday with a teammate in a game with the New York Islanders. “I never want to say anything right after,” Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said after the game Sunday. “We want to make sure we evaluate it right.”

TEAM STATS

Category

Buffalo

Nashville

Hits 31

12

Faceoff Wins

25 36

Blocked Shots

23

10

Giveaways 9

6

Penalty Minutes

20

10

Power Plays

0-3

1-7

 

Shots on Goal

Teams

Buffalo Nashville

Period 1

3 11
Period 2 4

15

Period 3

6 10
OT 4

2

Total

17

38

 

@wolf3328

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