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Opportunity missed in Winnipeg, Sabres fall 4-1

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The Jets fans took off with a blast as they were chanting ‘Miller’ about thirty seconds into the game and booing him when he first touched the puck, making the smallest capacity arena sound like one of the biggest.

Steve Ott answered the hometown fans by hitting everything in sight, one check sending Enstrom off the ice and not to return.  Pat Kaleta and John Scott followed suit and did not leave any check unfinished.

The second period started much like the first with the Jets dominating play.  They eventually got on the board first after Evander Kane sent a shot towards the net, which hit Christian Ehrhoff and went right to the stick of Kyle Wellwood, who made no mistake wristing the puck by Miller.

The Jets continued their pressure as Dustin Byfuglien set Aaron Gagnon up perfectly for a one-timer goal, the first of his NHL career.

Winnipeg’s third goal came from Andrew Ladd, who pulled a nifty backhand to forehand move on Miller after getting the rush pass from Bryan Little.

Buffalo headed to the dressing room down 3-0 after another second period they would like to forget.  Adding to the troubles, Patrick Kaleta would not come out to the ice for the third period.

At 15:06 of the third, the Sabres scored their first of the night.  Kevin Porter sent a pass from the corner intended for Flynn, but it hit Wheeler instead and slipped past Pavelec.

Shortly after that, Buffalo was unable to capitalize on a powerplay that saw Thomas Vanek parked in front of Pavelec and missing a wide-open net opportunity.

With 25.6 seconds left, Ladd gave the puck to Wheeler for the empty net goal that sealed the deal for Winnipeg

Around the league, the New York Islanders beat Philadelphia and Washington beat Montreal, sending both teams further ahead of Buffalo in the standings.  The Sabres now sit four points behind the 8th place Rangers with only eight games left in the regular season.

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NHL Standings

DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
A4631-12-365
A4527-10-862
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Metropolitan Division Leaders:
M4728-15-460
M4524-13-856
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Wild Card leaders:
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M4925-21-353
-----------------------------------------
M4622-16-852
M4824-20-452
M4621-17-850
A4519-20-644
A4719-22-644
A4518-20-743
A4415-20-939
A4611-26-931
DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
Central Division Leaders:
C4828-13-763
C4528-11-662
C4928-18-359
Pacific Division Leaders:
P4631-11-466
P4626-14-658
P4625-16-555
Wild Card leaders:
C4827-17-458
C4526-16-355
-----------------------------------------
C4725-17-555
P4624-17-553
P4822-17-953
C4622-18-650
P4721-23-343
P4718-23-642
P4811-28-929