#10: February 10, 2012 – Stars 2 @ Sabres 3 (SO)
This game was a nail-biter and Buffalo needed almost all of regulation to get the game tied up. Derek Roy scored in the final minute to tie the game, while Nathan Gerbe’s nifty move won the game in the shootout. Thomas Vanek scored the other regulation goal in his return to the lineup. Even Dallas’ goals seemed fun to watch throughout and Kari Lehtonen was on his game. It also feels good every time Buffalo beats Dallas.
#9: December 3, 2011 – Sabres 3 @ Predators 2
This game may not have been high scoring like some of the others on this list and it’s outcome wasn’t as exciting, but Buffalo was able to match up against a top level team and come out on top. Not only did they win on the scoreboard, but they were physical and defended their goaltender unlike what had previously been done throughout the season. This game was a step in the right direction for the Sabres.
#8: March 3, 2012 – Sabres 5 @ Canucks 3
Anytime you can make a trade with a team and then immediately beat that team feels good. When you crush that team, it feels better. When Christian Ehrhoff scores against his former club it feels great! Alex Sulzer made his first Sabres appearance. Several Sabres made Marc-Andre Gragnani look foolish. Buffalo jumped out to a 4-0 lead. The only blights on the game were Zack Kassian’s 2-point night and the end of Ryan Miller’s shutout streak.
#7: February 19, 2012 – Penguins 2 @ Sabres 6
Anytime you hang 6 goals on a team is good. Buffalo was consistently able to do this against good NHL opponents. Pittsburgh started poorly, allowing Buffalo to grab a 3-goal lead. Just when it seemed like the Sabres were going to cough up that lead Drew Stafford scored and it was off to the races for the Sabres. Derek Roy had a pair of goals, Jason Pominville had 3 points and Christian Ehrhoff tied a career record with 3 assists.
#6: February 29, 2012 – Sabres 2 @ Ducks 0
You can’t ask for much more in a game than this (and yet it’s number 6). This was actually my favorite game of the year. Buffalo jumped out to a 2 goal lead with a strike from Derek Roy and a beautiful deflection by Brad Boyes. Miller looked spectacular, earning the first of what would be 2 straight shutouts. Then there was the fighting. Corey Tropp, Robyn Regehr and Mike Weber all dropped the gloves, but perhaps the most exciting for Sabres fans (and dismaying for those who don’t like fighting) was the battle after the final whistle which saw first time scrappers Jordan Leopold and Tyler Myers each find partners and throw knuckles.
Honorable Mention: October 10th, 2011 – Ducks 1 @ Sabres 4
It was the first game of the season and everything was all unicorns and rainbows. The team was starting the season overseas. Almost everyone was healthy. Ville Leino scored. The beat Anaheim handily. It was all looking good. This game gave fans a great feeling. Too bad this level of play did continue all season.