Sabres Handle Adversity to Claim First Home Win

The Sabres have finally won their first home game of the season.  After a 5-0 loss to Pittsburgh less than twenty-four hours ago, Buffalo put together their most complete game of this young season in a 3-2 shootout victory of the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday evening.  The Sabres were nowhere near perfect, but their compete level was extremely strong, especially when adversity struck.  After Brian Flynn scored the first goal of the game 6:55 into the second period, Detroit matched with a wrist shot from Tomas Tatar that got through traffic to beat Neuvirth. The Sabres again found themselves down 4:27 into the third period on a point blank shot from the gifted Pavel Datsyuk. The first half of the third period appeared bleak for Buffalo as the club did not register a shot on goal through though the first nine minutes of play.    

Instead of running and ducking for cover, Buffalo pushed back and tied the game up as Chris Stewart scored his first goal as a member of the Buffalo Sabres with less than seven minutes remaining in the game.  Free hockey felt like much more than five minutes as Detroit seemingly held the puck in Buffalo’s zone the entire overtime session. The extra frame appeared similar to when Boston was in town last Thursday, but this time the Sabres “did not break” as said Ted Nolan after the game.  

Dating back to the win in San Jose October 25th, the Sabres are 2-2-1.  Ted Nolan sounded encouraged after the win but offered no confusion for members of the media.  “Work alone does not turn this thing around.  It has to be a belief that you are doing the right things and if that happens on a night in night out basis, things will turn.”



My 3 stars:

3.  Josh Gorges - Yes, he was a minus two.  Yes, he did not register a point.  If we take a deeper perspective we see that Gorges was credited with three blocked shots (already leads the NHL) and we also see that he was on the ice for 4:52 of shorthanded time.  The Sabres did a very nice job on the penalty kill and statistics show that Gorges was a major contributor in this department.  

2.  Pavel Datsyuk - If somebody told me that they paid for a ticket to go see Pavel Datsyuk and nothing else, I’d have no argument.  The man is extremely entertaining to watch play hockey and tonight was a great example.  Although Buffalo did their best “to keep him on the perimeter of the ice” as Ted Nolan said, Datsyuk still had a goal and an assist.  

1.  Michael Neuvirth - Only 2 goals allowed on 38 shots.  He was clutch during plenty of penalty kill situations along with the long-standing Detroit pressure throughout overtime.    

The Sabres will continue their homestand against Montreal (wed), Edmonton (fri), and Pittsburgh (sat).  The three teams have a combined record of 19-10-3.