Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Sabres win in a shootout

The Sabres continue to slowly gain on the eight place Canadians, with a 4-3 shootout win over them that leaves Buffalo only four points out of the playoffs. Given the lack of game left that is doubtful to be enough, but at least they are finally trying.

This was a real even back and forth game with each team scoring one goal on the powerplay. Buffalo got goals from MacArthur and Mair who have both been quiet as of late (although MacArthur did get one last game), while Afinogenov was sat out again despite decent play in the last few games.

In the end the game came down to a shootout, and Miller proved once again why he was the Sabres number one goalie. Miller stopped all six shots that he faced, while the Sabres struggled to score on the other end until Lydman of all people got a shootout goal. Stafford needs to go back to being reliable in the shootout, had Miller not returned from injury, this most likely would have been a loss.

Official Three Stars
  • Alex Kovalev
  • Tim Connolly
  • Christopher Higgins

  • My Three Stars
  • Tim Connolly (one goal, one assist, four shots)
  • Alex Kovalev two goals, five shots)
  • Ryan Miller (32 saves, 6 for 6 in the shootout)

  • Saturday, March 28, 2009

    Sabres stay alive with Win

    The Sabres continued to pretend that they have a shot at the playoffs with a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night. Ryan Miller returned in goal for Buffalo, but the real reason for the win was the return of Jochen Hecht who has all but disappeared this season. Hecht got the first goal in the game only 37 seconds in starting what would amount to a 4-0 lead. Hecht would later add an assist on the final goal of the game.

    Of course Buffalo almost blew their 4-0 lead, but a third period goal by Paul Gaustad allowed the Sabres to hold onto for a 5-3 win. Toronto actually played ok, outshooting Buffalo 36-24, but saw Curtis Joseph allow four goals on just nine shots.

    Official Three Stars
  • Tim Connolly
  • Paul Gaustad
  • Chris Butler

  • My Three Stars
  • Tim Connolly (two goals, plus two, four shots)
  • Paul Gaustad (one goal, one assist)
  • Matt Stajan (one goal, one assist, plus two, 71% on faceoffs)

  • Friday, March 27, 2009

    The Sabres actually win

    After a few long weeks of losses, the Sabres actually came out and won a game against a team that they are chasing in the standings. Furthermore they did so coming back from a 3-1 deficit, and got goals from MacArthur, Afinogenov, and Pominville.

    Jason Pominville has been a bit of a disappointment all season long but finally got things together in the third period for this game, getting a goal and two assists. Buffalo has needed him and MacArthur to pick up their games this season, and they both came through against the Panthers. Now Jochen Hecht just needs to get on board.

    Max Afinogenov has been doing the same routine lately, where he makes dumb mistakes early on, and then plays full out for the rest of the game in an attempt to make up for them. If he can play like that without the early mistakes he may even be worth keeping for next season. Afinogenov was eventually rewarded for his work with an empty net goal.

    Buffalo is still in trouble playoff wise unless they win out, but this game at least proves that they can play if they want to.

    Official Three Stars
  • Jason Pominville
  • Brett McLean
  • Patrick Kaleta

  • My Three Stars
  • Jason Pominville (one goal, two assists, five shots)
  • Tim Connolly (one goal, one assist, plus three)
  • Brett McLean (one goal, one assist, plus two)

  • Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    Ryan Miller practicing

    Ryan Miller
    Ryan Miller has returned to practice and is back working out with the team. Regardless this may be a case of too little too late for the Sabres, who except by winning out the season have little hope of making the playoffs.

    The Sabres next game is Wednesday, although it is unclear if Miller will be ready to play by then.

    Monday, March 23, 2009

    Air Force wins the Atlantic Hockey championships

    The final two rounds of the Atlantic Hockey playoffs were held this past weekend in Rochester, with the winner getting an automatic bid for the NCAA tournament.

    Atlantic Hockey
    The first game between Air Force and Bentley was extremely lopsided and at no point, really close. After a scoreless, but relatively even first period, Air Force pulled away in the second, and never let Bentley back into the game. Air Force completely dominated the play, and Bentley struggled to so much as get into the offensive zone. While they were the lowest seed still in the tournament, they looked as if they were not even deserving of being there.

    The late game between RIT and Mercyhurst was between two of the three highest scoring teams in the country, and was exciting as it was expected to be. Mercyhurst got the early lead with a bit of a fluke goal within the first minute, but after that RIT proved to be the better team at even strength. RIT built up a 3-1 lead early in the second period, only to see Mercyhurst come back, going three for five on the powerplay to earn a 4-3 lead early in the third. RIT came back to tie up the game with one minute left, but than came out very flat in overtime. Mercyhurst dominated overtime play and won the game a little over two minutes into the extra period.

    The final game between Mercyhurst and Air Force was a repeat of last years, Atlantic Hockey championship, with Air Force once again pulling off the win. Air Force outshot Mercyhurst 33-25, and was able to do what RIT wasn't, in killing off the Mercyhurst powerplays. Mercyhurst went zero for six with the man advantage, and ultimately lost 2-0, in what was Air Force's second shutout of the weekend.

    Sunday, March 22, 2009

    Yet another loss

    The Sabres are now seemingly unable to win, and are more or less out of the playoff picture at this point. Even if they were to win out the season, they would need so much help, and currently only have a 9.8% chance at making the postseason.

    The Rangers 5-3 win was much closer than most of the Sabres other games of late, but still resulted in a loss. The Sabres actually outshot New York 40-31, but were sloppy at times, giving to many chances to the Rangers. New York got some major help from Henrik Lundqvist who played well throughout the night.

    Buffalo's next game is Wednesday against the Florida Panthers, but it is hard to say at this point that it matters.

    Official Three Stars
  • Nikolai Zherdev
  • Nik Antropov
  • Ryan Callahan

  • My Three Stars
  • Nik Antropov (two assists)
  • Ryan Callahan (two goals, three shots)
  • Henrik Lundqvist (37 saves)

  • Saturday, March 21, 2009

    Still unable to beat Philadelphia

    Like with Ottawa and Atlanta, the Sabres seem completely unable to even compete with the Flyers this season. The Sabres 6-4 loss was not close at any point, and is resulting in the Sabres drifting farther and farther from the playoffs.

    Moore got his first goal as a Sabre, and Chris Butler also played well, with two goals and plus two rating. Former Sabre Danny Briere scored two goals to put the game out of reach, just when the Sabres were finally coming back into it.

    Official Three Stars
  • Mike Richards
  • Danny Briere
  • Claude Giroux

  • My Three Stars
  • Danny Briere (two goals, plus two, four shots)
  • Kimmo Timonen (three assists, plus two)
  • Mike Richards (one goal, two assists)

  • Friday, March 20, 2009

    Atlantic Hockey

    Atlantic Hockey
    Besides the two Sabres games this weekend, Rochester will be hosting the NCAA Atlantic Hockey finals and semi-finals. Friday's games will feature Bentley vs Air Force, and RIT vs Mercyhurst, with the winners playing in the championship on Saturday.

    Last weekend in the qualifying games only Mercyhurst swept their series, while the other teams all had to go the full three games. Still in the end, the top seeds all ended up with the win. Mercyhurst is the top scoring team in the nation and has been very good recently. Still within Atlantic Hockey RIT and Air Force are undoubtedly the two favorites.

    In the regular season both RIT and Air Force tied for first place with identical 20-6-2 records and 2-2 against each other. All season long they have been miles ahead of the rest of the conference and have rightly earned their top seeds.

    Last year however neither of the top seeds made it past the semifinals as Army and RIT were upset by Mercyhurst and Air Force. While this is always as possibility in single elimination tournaments, the odds are still against it happening.

    The Sabres play against the Flyers tonight, and need a win against a team that they have not had much success against.

    Wednesday, March 18, 2009

    Still unable to beat Ottawa

    The Sabres have struggled against some poor teams this year, such as the Atlanta Thrashers and the Ottawa Senators. If Buffalo had won at least half of their games against these teams this year, they would be in playoff position.

    Buffalo's Tuesday night loss to the Senators was among the team's worst performances of the year. To begin with Buffalo was outshot 36-13. The Sabres were outshot an incredible 13-1 in the second period.

    Buffalo main problem was with special teams. Ottawa scored three of their goals on the powerplay, while the Sabres did very little on their opportunities.

    Still Buffalo had a 2-0 lead going into the second period, and a 2-2 tie going into the third. Despite their poor play they actually had a shot at winning, but completely failed to capitalize on their chances.

    This was the first start for Buffalo newest goalie Mikael Tellqvist. While it was a loss, he was not the one responsible for getting only 13 shots on net all game.

    Official Three Stars
  • Brendan Bell
  • Filip Kuba
  • Dany Heatley

  • My Three Stars
  • Brendan Bell (two goals, four shots)
  • Filip Kuba (three assists)
  • Toni Lydman (one goal, plus two)

  • Monday, March 16, 2009

    Missing a Point

    Buffalo Sabres
    The Buffalo Sabres played one of three periods well against the Atlanta Thrashers to get one point in a shootout loss. After the refs called a lopsided first period, Buffalo came back to control the second period and take a 3-1 lead. However Buffalo then gave up a shorthanded goal, and then allowed a last second goal to tie the game up after being unable to clear the zone for a full minute.

    Pominville was all around bad in this game. He was hardly ever moving his feet, and passed it right to the other team to allow the game tying goal. Afinogenov on the contrary actually had a really good game. After taking a dumb penalty due to laziness in the beginning of the game, he was flying through the rest of the night, and finished plus two with a goal. Paille who also scored a goal, had a real good game, and was defensively responsible throughout the night.

    Lalime played ok. None of the goal were real bad, and he had no help in the shootout. With four shots, Buffalo was unable to score a single time. Having Kotalik would have helped, as would at least seeing Stafford try the backhand himself. Still credit Kari Lehtonen for saving all of the shots, and for keeping the outshot Thrashers in this game.

    Official Three Stars
  • Kari Lehtonen
  • Maxim Afinogenov
  • Derek Roy

  • My Three Stars
  • Daniel Paille (one goal, plus two)
  • Maxim Afinogenov (one goal, plus two, three shots)
  • Derek Roy (one goal, one assist, five shots)

  • Friday, March 13, 2009

    Buffalo back on track

    Buffalo Sabres
    The Buffalo Sabre returned to their winning ways in a very important game against the Florida Panthers who are just above them in the standings. Buffalo ended the first period with a 2-1 lead, and was able to hold onto it until Vanek got a fluke goal towards the end of the third to put the game away for good. Still the Sabres had far more chances then the Panthers throughout the game and especially in the scoreless second period and deserved to win.

    Florida's best chance at coming back was during a solid powerplay opportunity at the beginning of the third period, where they had over a minute of five on three hockey. The Sabres, especially Lalime, were able to shut them down.

    The one goal that Lalime did let in was a bit soft, but he more than made up for it, making many big saves throughout the rest of the game.

    Furthermore, not everything went right for Buffalo's opponents Thursday night. Besides the Florida Panthers' loss, the Flyers and Hurricanes also lost, while the Penguins and Canadians both only earned one point. Of the teams close to Buffalo in the standings only the Rangers won their game.

    Official Three Stars
  • Patrick Lalime
  • Jaroslav Spacek
  • Henrik Tallinder

  • My Three Stars
  • Daniel Paille (one goal, plus one)
  • Patrick Lalime (30 saves, one goal against)
  • Michal Repik (one goal, plus one, three shots)

  • Wednesday, March 11, 2009

    Heading in the wrong direction

    The Buffalo Sabres lost in spectacular style for the second straight game in a 5-2 loss to the Flyers. With three losses in three games with Philadelphia this season Buffalo's success against them has been almost as bad as against Ottawa.

    Lalime played poorly and was replaced by Tellqvist who didn't play much better letting in one of four shots against. However nobody on the team played well, with the possible exceptions of Hecht and Kaleta.

    Still Buffalo got no help again last night as Montreal won, and Pittsburgh and Florida went to a shootout. The Sabres are starting to fall out of the playoff picture, and now need to do well above .500 hockey to get back into it.

    Official Three Stars
  • Jeff Carter
  • Scott Hartnell
  • Joffrey Lupul

  • My Three Stars
  • Scott Hartnell (two goals, two assists, plus three)
  • Jeff Carter (two goals, plus two, eight shots)
  • Jochen Hecht (one goal, plus two in loss)

  • Tuesday, March 10, 2009

    No Help

    While the Sabres have continued to play average hockey the teams around them have been doing better leaving Buffalo needing to pick up the pace if they want a chance to make the playoffs. Except for the struggling Rangers all of the teams near Buffalo in the standings have done phenomenally well. In their past 10 games the Carolina Hurricanes have gone 8-2-0, the Montreal Canadians have gone 6-4, and the Pittsburgh Penguins have posted a 8-1-1 record. Buffalo meanwhile has won less than half going 4-5-1.

    Buffalo gets its next chance to win against the Flyers on Tuesday night.

    Monday, March 9, 2009

    In Memory of Kotalik

    Buffalo Sabres
    Now a few days after a trade sent him to Edmonton, the Sabres are doing pretty well without Ales Kotalik, but he had been a huge part of Buffalo's franchise for a long while.

    Ales Kotalik has often been criticized for not being physical enough, but just because he is a big guy, doesn't automatically imply that being physical has to be part of his game. His real problem was a lack of consistency, and the fact that his defense wasn't always there.

    That said he wasn't bad. This was his sixth full season for Buffalo, which has been the only NHL team he has every played for. Recently he had been averaging around 20 goals a season, which is decent if not anything special.

    Still the interest that Kotalik was likely to get in this coming summer is more than the Sabres would have been willing to spend, so giving him up is not too much of a loss. Kotalik was however, surprised to be traded, but was almost a casualty of Buffalo committing its future cap dollars towards Connolly instead. From the start of the season it appeared as if only one of Connolly, Kotalik, and Afinogenov would be resigned, and the team chose to go with Tim instead.

    The thing that will be most remembered about Kotalik of course is his role in the shootout. He always went first for Buffalo and almost always scored when he went to the backhand, and only really ever went to a different move for the sake of mixing it up. He is still one of the top shootout players in the league, and those few extra points that he picked up for Buffalo really are important. Stafford has adopted Kotalik's backhander as his own for the shootout sometimes, but still doesn't do it quite as well.

    Kotalik was never a critical part of the team in Buffalo, but still he will be missed.

    Sunday, March 8, 2009

    Still unable to beat Ottawa

    Buffalo Sabres
    The Buffalo Sabres have been unable to beat the Ottawa Senators all year, and failed to do so once again on Saturday night. The team came and went all night in a game that saw poor performances by both goaltenders. In the end though, Nick Foligno and Dan Alfredsson proved to be too much and outscored the Sabres 6-3.

    Buffalo got all three of their goals on the powerplay, but allowed too many shots against in the game, and had too many breakdowns. While it was close until the end, at no point did the Sabres look like the best team on the ice. Lalime let in too many soft ones, and should have been pulled after the second period.

    Buffalo also got no help from around the league as the Hurricanes, Flyers, and Panthers all won as well.

    Official Three Stars
  • Nick Foligno
  • Chris Campoli
  • Daniel Alfredsson

  • My Three Stars
  • Nick Foligno (two goals, plus two, two for two on faceoffs)
  • Daniel Alfredsson (two goals, five shots)
  • Chris Campoli (one goal, one assist, plus three, five shots)

  • Saturday, March 7, 2009

    Buffalo wins second straight game

    Buffalo Sabres
    The Buffalo Sabres soundly beat the Phoenix Coyotes 5-1, in their second straight win after the trade deadline. New Sabre Dominic Moore was in the line up for this game, but the team was really lead by Tim Connolly who just signed a two year extension.

    Connolly scored the first goal of the game, and cleanly won a face off for the primary assist on the Sabres second goal. Once Buffalo got up 2-0 early in this game, it was mostly over as the Coyotes did not appear capable of making a comeback at any point. Connolly went on to score another goal on the powerplay in the second period and earned an assist towards the end.

    Buffalo Sabres
    The refs certainly did not help at all in this game, with many calls being rather unfounded. Buffalo did a good job killing off the penalties though, and only allowed one goal against on the powerplay in the third. Buffalo did get two more powerplay goals of their own in the game's final minutes though.

    MacArthur and Numminen sat out of this game, and Tellqvist is expected to get the start in Buffalo's next game Saturday night in Ottawa.

    Official Three Stars
  • Tim Connolly
  • Andrej Sekera
  • Patrick Lalime

  • My Three Stars
  • Tim Connolly (two goals, two assists, plus two, six shots)
  • Andrej Sekera (one goal, one assist, plus two)
  • Patrick Lalime (29 saves, only one goal against)

  • Friday, March 6, 2009

    Introducing Dominic Moore

    Buffalo Sabres
    On Wednesday the Sabres traded away Ales Kotalik to the Oilers for a second round draft pick, and then traded a second round draft pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Dominic Moore. The result is that the team lost Kotalik and gained Moore, the question is if they will be better for it.

    At first glance the differences between Moore and Kotalik are not all that obvious. While Moore has slightly more points in a few more games played this season, he is one goal behind Kotalik. Offensively the output from Moore will be about the same as it was from Kotalik, except without the huge advantage in the shootout.

    There are reasons that the Sabres choose Moore though. First of all he plays center, where Buffalo is bit weak, and where he can be good with faceoffs. Secondly, management may feel that they have a better chance of convincing Moore to stay then they did with Kotalik. In reality though, Moore has been around the league alot already and is not any less likely to avoid moving on. The final reason is defense. Moore has earned himself a reputation for being a two way player. He has a minus one plus minus rating, but that is still six points above where Kotalik was, not even considering the fact that he had to play for the Leafs.

    Hopefully Moore can be a good addition to the Sabres lineup, even if it is only for a few months. His first game in a Buffalo uniform is Friday night against the Coyotes.

    Thursday, March 5, 2009

    A post trade deadline win

    Buffalo Sabres
    On this side of the trade deadline the Sabres are looking like a much better team. Buffalo didn't change all that much through trades, but looked really good in this game. While the Sabres have struggled to score in front of Lalime this season they got five goals Wednesday night against Montreal.

    Lalime for his part also did really good especially in the first period when he saved all 18 shots taken on him. He came within a minute of earning the shutout before allowing a single goal against with a little over a minute to go. A trick Miller has pulled many times before.

    Newcomer Tellqvist was the backup goalie for this game. Former Maple Leaf Dominic Moore was unable to get to the arena in time to play.

    Afinogenov who is surprising still a Sabre played in the game for the first time in months. He was actually pretty good registering and assist, and two shots on net. Vanek was also back and played with a lower cage in addition to his visor.

    Paul Gaustad and Derek Roy both had two goal games for Buffalo, each of them getting one goal on the powerplay. Gaustad's second goal then came shorthanded and was a real nice play. Spacek had the other real nice play in this game dancing around the defender, before blasting his shot into the net. He also had the primary assist on Roy's first goal.

    Buffalo did really good on special teams in this game, scoring on two of four powerplays. Then on the penalty kill the Sabres killed off all six of Montreal's chances and even score a shorthanded goal.
    Buffalo Sabres

    Official Three Stars
  • Patrick Lalime
  • Paul Gaustad
  • Derek Roy

  • My Three Stars
  • Patrick Lalime (shutout, 38 saves)
  • Paul Gaustad (two goals, plus one, three shots)
  • Derek Roy (two goals, plus one, three shots)

  • Wednesday, March 4, 2009

    Connolly sticking around, Tellqvist aquired

    Buffalo Sabres Tim Connolly
    The Sabres have signed Tim Connolly to a two year deal worth $4.5 million per year. This should end any trade rumors surrounding Connolly and confirms expectations that this trade deadline was to be a quiet one for the Sabres.

    That Connolly is going to be given an increase in his salary is a tad bit surprising, but the good news is that he will continue to play in Buffalo and solidify that position for the team.

    If Connolly can stay healthy, then he is easily worth the money. Tim has been doing pretty good for the past few months, and despite a rocky start to the season has been playing game in and game out for a while now. Still Connolly has still played in less games than Afinogenov this season. However the deal is only for two years, so if it turns out that Connolly's health doesn't last, Buffalo is not responsible for him year after year.

    Buffalo also traded a fourth round pick for goalie Mikael Tellqvist in Phoenix. There is little danger of him replacing anyone's job in the system, but gives Portland some more flexibility, and a healthy goaltender to work with. Miller will still be the starter, Lalime will still be the back up, and Enroth will still be the future of the team. Still Tellqvist has been in 90 more NHL games than Enroth and will probably take over the backup role for as long as Miller is out. Enroth will then start for Portland, while Denis remains injured.

    The Sabres are one of only four teams to be playing tonight as they take on the Montreal Canadians. As far as Buffalo goes, this may be as exciting as the trade deadline gets.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009

    The Quiet Before the storm

    One day before the trade deadline, and everyone is mostly just waiting for things to start happening. With so many teams having a shot at the playoffs out west, really anything could happen at the deadline this year. However there is the possibility that overall things may just be a bit more quiet.

    The Sabres strategy for the trade deadline is more predictable to guess than most, but even that is a bit of an unknown. Besides getting something in return for Afinogenov, Buffalo does not have any obvious goals. Besides the injured Vanek and Miller really no one else on the team is truly safe.

    Afinogenov, Connolly, Kotalik, and Spacek are the big name players set to become free agents this summer and slightly more likely to be moved, but anything could happen. There is some talk about defensemen Tallinder and Paetsch who both have a full year remaining on their contracts. Technically Buffalo is still in this so they are not sellers, but it is questionable what may happen.

    Overall this should be a quiet trading year. There will probably still be plenty of action, but not in regards to the bigger names. Most of the true cup contenders are all pretty well set, with the top four in each conference more or less decided.

    The other impact on the trade deadline this year is the economy. The salary cap is likely to stay the same for next season, and for those GM's who were counting on an ever expanding cap this could be a problem. Some bigger name players may get traded just for the cap relief. In fact Buffalo getting back Drury for Afinogenov almost seems plausible despite it not being an even skill for skill trade.

    Monday, March 2, 2009

    The Afinogenov question

    Buffalo Sabres Patrick Lalime
    With the trade deadline quickly approaching the Sabres have one player that stands ahead of the rest as one likely to go, and that is Maxim Afinogenov.

    Unlike Kotalik, Connolly, and Tallinder there is obviously no interest in bringing back Afinogenov next season, and it doesn't look all that likely that he will play again this season either.

    While technically still on the injured reserve list, the whole world knows that he is ready to go, but is more convenient to keep on the sidelines, now that he is behind Andrew Peters and half of the Portland Pirates on the depth chart.

    So while the reasons that Buffalo wants to get rid of him are obvious, there is little interest that other teams are likely to have in him.

    Any teams not making the playoffs will want nothing to do with Afinogenov as he will be a free agent this summer, and will only give them questionable quality in return. Teams towards the top of their conference also have no interest in Afinogenov as they would not want to break up their roster for a player of questionable talent.

    That only leaves the teams in the middle, and despite how things appear I think it is more than likely that one of them will be interested in Max Afinogenov. For one, he can be had at a very cheap price. The Sabres have shown no interest in him, and will probably put him on waivers to the AHL if he can't be traded this weak, as a result Buffalo would be happy to get anything in return for him, so he could be had for very little, and a low round draft pick would be seen as a good trade for Buffalo.

    The teams that will want Max will be those on the edge of making the playoffs, and realizing that they need to change something to turn things around. Montreal and the Rangers are two such teams that while currently in a playoff spot, are in freefall, and are desperate to change something to turn things around. The Canadians are unlikely to take a risk with Afinogenov, but the Rangers would be interested in him. New York has been struggling as of late, and needs to shake up the lineup in one way or another, Afinogenov does have the potential to be decent in the right system, and the Rangers have one where teamwork is already not a main priority. Furthermore Max is both cheaper and more reliable then the Rangers other option in Sean Avery.

    Another team in the East who may be interested are the Ottawa Senators who appear to still think that they can make a run at the playoffs this season. Basic math indicates that they are out, but their GM is an idiot and who has indicated that the Senators look to be buyers at the trade deadline this year.

    Out west the market for Afinogenov looks smaller as border teams such as the Ducks, Predators and Wild are all unlikely to be willing to take the risk. The most interested team in the west would probably be the Columbus Blue Jackets who may be looking for some extra fire power as they try to hold on and make the playoffs for the first time in the franchise's history.

    Sunday, March 1, 2009

    Sabres hit a new low

    Things are at an all time bad for Buffalo this season, because nothing can really get worse than being shutout by the Islanders. If there was an easy win to come out of this stretch this game was it, and the Sabres absolutely blew the opportunity.

    Seriously, has anyone even heard of Yann Danis before? Let alone that he had the Islanders playing in front of him with one player out of the game suspended, another out to be traded, and the rest of them Islanders. Yet that seemed to be enough to stop Buffalo completely.

    Coming into this game the Sabres have struggled to score in front of Lalime, but at least they had not yet been shutout in any of those.

    Lalime actually played well, saving 32 of 34 shots, and putting Buffalo in a position to win the game. At the very least three points against the third worst defense in the league shouldn't be too much to ask for.

    The only hope is that Vanek should be ready to go play for the next Sabres game on Wednesday night. However he will have to do so all by himself. For this being the last game before the trade deadline, every player has given themselves great reason to get sent away.

    Official Three Stars
  • Sean Bergenheim
  • Yann Danis
  • Jack Hillen

  • My Three Stars
  • Yann Danis (shutout, 31 saves)
  • Sean Bergenheim (two goals, plus two, six shots)
  • Jack Hillen (one assist, plus two, four shots)