After a somewhat easy schedule in October, Buffalo had a chance this past weekend to prove how good they really are. Buffalo was off to a nice start, but ran into trouble when they faced Philadelphia and Boston.
Despite losing on back to back nights, the Sabres still hold third in the Eastern Conference with 19 points.
After losing to Philadelphia Friday night, what else could a Sabres fan expect the next night?
Buffalo had to travel to Boston for their second game in as many nights. Boston had Friday off, so they were well rested. Jhonas Enroth was scheduled to make his first NHL start. When Ryan Miller is not in net for the Sabres, the team does not play the same way. They lose trust in the goaltender to bail them out in situations.
So, from my view, this was the only thing that gave the Sabres a chance to win Saturday night:
Boston came into the game with five goals in their last five games. They also began the game dead last in powerplay percentage (10%).
Jhonas Enroth made his NHL debut for the Sabres on Saturday. Although he has been struggling in the AHL, Buffalo needed somebody to fill Patrick Lalime’s spot. Lalime had a mild groin injury and Ryan Miller needed some rest. Enroth allowed a goal on the first shot…not exactly what he had in mind.
Mark Recchi puts Boston on the board early in the first. Recchi’s goal was Boston’s first powerplay goal in 20 attempts. Later in the period, on their very next powerplay, Zdeno Chara scored his first goal of the season.
Tyler Myers met Zdeno Chara along the boards – the two tallest players in the NHL.
Former Sabre Dan Paille received a penalty for goaltender interference after running into Enroth. On the way out of the box, Paille had a shorthanded breakaway, but could not get the puck past Enroth.
Steve Montador, who played for the Bruins last season, got himself into a scrap with Shawn Thornton. Montador didn’t fair too well in the fight, but helped the Sabres get going again.
After the first period, the Bruins led 2-0 and ousthot Buffalo 11-7.
Byron Bitz added a third Boston goal less than two minutes into the second period. After three unanswered goals the Sabres responded quickly. About a minute later, Derek Roy scored his third goal in as many games to get Buffalo on the board and back into the game. The Sabres still trailed 3-1.
Towards the end of the second, Marco Sturm put Boston back up by three. The Bruins outshot Buffalo again in the second, 17-10.
In the third, Boston did a nice job of keeping Buffalo from scoring. Pominville added a late goal, but the Sabres couldn’t get anything else. Buffalo’s frustration level continued to increase.
Boston ended with 37 shots, the Sabres with 30
The Sabres are now 0-3 on the second night of back to back games.
This past weekend has shown the worst of the Sabres. They did face two good teams, but they are able to perform much better than that. Buffalo has allowed nine goals in the past two games, the most goals they have given up all season. The Sabres need to forget about these two games, and prepare for their next one.
Buffalo has four days to prepare for their next game. The Sabres will host the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night at 7:00.