The Buffalo Sabres came into tonight’s matchup against the Boston Bruins, sitting in 15th place in the Eastern Conference. With their recent play, place in the East and the Bruins success, many people wrote tonight’s game off before it began.
The game would start off with the Bruins pinning the Sabres in their zone early and often.
The tide would quickly change, 3:24 into the game to be exact, when a beautiful behind-the-net centering pass from Tyler Ennis to Drew Stafford led to a goal that put the Sabres up 1-0. This was Stafford’s first goal of the season, on his 41st shot. Stafford’s goal also broke a 17-game goalless streak, dating back to last season.
“I’ve been working real hard for a goal,” said Stafford. “I’m very happy to finally be rewarded with one.”
The Bruins and Sabres would continue to pass momentum back and forth throughout the period, until Drew Stafford took a tripping penalty late.
The Bruins power play unit would get Ryan Miller scrambling in the crease and capitalize on the man advantage at 17:56, when rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton would score his first career NHL goal, knotting the game at one.
Heading into the second, the momentum was completely in the Bruins favor and that wouldn’t change.
Just 2:29 into the second, a Bruins shot caromed off the boards behind Ryan Miller, briefly getting him out of position and Rich Peverley quickly made him pay.
Peverley’s second goal of the season put the Bruins up 2-1.
Throughout the rest of the second, as per usual with Buffalo in the second, the team would shoot themselves in the foot. There were a slew of ugly giveaways and a very large inability to apply any offensive pressure.
Following a period that featured six Sabres shots, the team was booed off the ice heading into intermission.
“In the second period, we missed too many plays” said head coach Lindy Ruff. “It was poor execution on our part.”
It is unclear what happened in the locker room during the second intermission, but something clicked.
“We made adjustments in the intermission,” said Ryan Miller. “They worked well and we were finally rewarded for what I thought was a good game.”
The Sabres would score the equalizer 2:03 into the third after Tyler Myers followed up on a Nathan Gerbe/Jochen Hecht 2-on-1 and put the puck in the net, for his second goal of the season.
Following a failed power play, the Sabres would snatch the momentum back from Boston before it was too late.
In almost a mirror of the Myers goal, Tyler Ennis/Drew Stafford crashed the net, producing a juicy rebound. Christian Ehrhoff would capitalize and score his second goal of the season, at 9:02, in top shelf fashion.
The Sabres would keep their foot to the floor, continuing to apply pressure to the Bruins defense. Two and a half minutes later, Cody Hodgson would bank a Tyler Myers pass off of Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin, tallying his sixth goal of the season, to put Buffalo up 4-2 at 11:45
With this newfound two goal lead, the Sabres effectively would apply offensive and defensive pressure to hold the Bruins to only three total shots in the third period.
When the final horn sounded, the Sabres would claim a 4-2 victory and two points.
Following the comeback victory, Tyler Myers had the quote of the night.
“If we can bring our game the way we did in the third, into a whole 60 minute game, we’ll start becoming a very dangerous team,” Myers said.
The Sabres will next take the ice at the First Niagara Center, this Sunday afternoon at 12:30, when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins in a nationally televised game that can be seen on NBC.
Notes: – Andrej Sekera suffered a “real bad charley horse” and is expected to miss a little time, according to Lindy Ruff. – Nathan Gerbe’s assist was his first point since April 7, 2012 at Boston. – Sabres improve to 24-3-2 all-time when Tyler Ennis records at least two points. – With 11 hits, Steve Ott becomes the first Sabres player to record 10 or more hits since Paul Gaustad had 10 hits in the 2008 Winter Classic. – Buffalo won without getting a point from Vanek or Pominville for the first time since March 23, 2012.