It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but it was a well earned win.
After four straight games against New Jersey that give away extra points, it was just nice to see a game end in regulation. The way the Sabres have started this year would make you believe it would head there again this year. Taking a 1-0 lead into the third after completely dominating play. We’ve seen the soft goal that ties it up, another point lost within the conference.
Not this time. Miller was strong again, the defense held, and they overcame some penalties to put together another great road win. We’ve wondered if Miller would live up to the expectations a new contract brings, and two straight shutouts to playoff teams does answer the bell quite a bit. He’s made sure to put
two a bad game s behind him, and knowing he will get a long rest and maybe a day off this weekend does a lot for the team’s confidence.
The forwards put in a pretty solid effort as well. It looks like Afinogenov and Stafford, and Mair didn’t get much ice time, but the Kaleta/Gaustad/Paille line was excellent. Kaleta in particular had a good game. Aside from the nice goal, he was everywhere on the forecheck, killing penalties, and even blocking an important shot late. Putting Pat out with two minutes to play with a shutout on the line is a great gesture from the coaching staff, and Kaleta deserved it with a great all around performance tonight.
It’s going to be a long week without a Sabres game, but we will find plenty to talk about. This team is getting healthy, and aside from a few hiccups last week they are firing on all cylinders. Vanek still had a good game, but nothing to show for it on the stat sheet. Miller is as lights out as he has ever been, and he’s back to having a decent backup to support him.
This team is starting to look familiar, and I can’t think of a better way to finish off a Monday than with saying that.
The Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl of the Game goes to Pat Kaleta, who totally deserves it. Kaleta always seems to make an impact, but tonight was more than that. His line was a force, and I’d like to see them stay together for a while and see what happens. With all the injuries we’ve seen so far, it would be nice to see a checking line set and ready to roll.