As I entered HSBC Arena on Tuesday night, I was hoping the Sabres would break out of their losing streak. When I attend their games this year, the Sabres are 11-1-1.
Both Boston and Buffalo have been slumping as of late, and they were both in the need of points. The Sabres came in 2-7-1 in their last ten, but the Bruins were even worse at 1-6-3. With a loss, the Sabres could have potentially fallen to fifth in the Conference. So, the importance of this game increased due to the one point division lead the Sabres had over Ottawa.
As I sat in section 300, I witnessed a horrible first period, as the Bruins took a 2-0 lead. Not only that, but it was former Sabre Daniel Paille who scored both goals (with Miroslav Satan assisting on one). The atmosphere inside the arena grew quieter, and as the team left the ice, they were booed by their own fans.
“Here we go again” was the exact thought I, and probably many other fans, had after falling behind early. We had one fan in our section wearing the hat with an actual bear on top of it. He was one of the few fans that was enjoying the game so far.
Buffalo recorded 17 shots in the first period, but still trailed by two. During the intermission, Lindy Ruff made some interesting comments in the locker room. After the game he told reporters that he was only going to play the players that were playing well for the last two periods. He didn’t care if he only had two lines to play.
In the second period, Buffalo finally got on the board with a 5-on-3 power play goal from Derek Roy. The crowd began to get back in the game with the first goal. Finally, towards the end of the period, Tyler Myers tied the game up, and the crowd roared.
It was a complete turnaround from the first period, and it looked as if Buffalo had the momentum. There were two fights that also kept the fans on their feet. During the intermission, my buddy and I went down to the 100’s section and found a couple of empty seats.
We sat down there until the seat owners came back and kicked us out, and we headed back up to section 300. It was a totally different view and perspective in the 100’s. Everything seemed to be so much faster. In the 300’s, you are able to see the play develop, something that’s much harder to do when you’re up so close.
As the game headed to overtime, it felt good to finally earn a point. The Sabres have gained just one out of their last possible ten points. In overtime, the Sabres killed off a penalty that had the crowd excited again. Neither team would score, sending the game to a shootout.
Boston’s David Krejci scored the game winner in the shootout, and the Bruins left Buffalo with a 3-2 win. It was disappointing that the Sabres couldn’t finish off the Bruins, but a slight relief that they finally earned a point.
With Ottawa’s win, the teams are now tied for first, but Buffalo does have two games in hand.