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Buffalo Buckles

Former Sabre Brian Campbell scored the game-winning goal to give Florida the 4-3 win against Buffalo at First Niagara Center.

Coming off of a tough 6-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens the night before, the Sabres were unable to sustain their two-goal lead and handed the Florida Panthers their first road win of the season.

The Sabres’ first line continued their incredible chemistry with some great passing in front of the Panthers net. Just 2:46 into the game, Thomas Vanek released a quick shot off of a blind through-the-legs pass from Jason Pominville to give Buffalo a 1-0 lead.

Florida tied up the game after Jerred Smithson won a faceoff against Tyler Ennis; forward Shawn Matthias got the puck and unleashed a cannon past Ryan Miller. Live TV wasn’t quick enough to catch that goal.

Cody Hodgson regained the lead for Buffalo off of a clean pass from Vanek to finish off the scoring in the first period.

Alexander Sulzer extended the Sabres lead to two when he fired a long shot from the blue line 3:49 into the second.

Jose Theodore remained calm and denied Ennis on a nice breakaway. Mikhail Grigorenko, Marcus Foligno, and Jochen Hecht all had chances to extend Buffalo’s lead further, but were unable to capitalize.

Head Coach Lindy Ruff acknowledged these chances, but knows that shots have to start making their way into the net.

“I don’t think that Thomas can keep up his pace,” Ruff said. “We do need other people to get on the scoreboard.”

George Parros put the Panthers within one after Ennis seemed to give up on the play. Peter Mueller tied things up with less than a minute left in the period and sent the Sabres into the locker room sulking.

Buffalo Buckles
Ennis facing off against Smithson seconds before Matthias fires out past Miller.
(Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

Brian Campbell scored the game winner on a power play at 9:27 in the third.

Buffalo came out in the third, unable to match the energy that they started the game with. They came out looking slow and continued to show their inability to produce offense. It took them over half of the period to generate their first shot on goal.

“I don’t think the spirit was broken,” Ruff said. “I think we’ve played a lot of hockey in the last 3-4 days.”

A lot of hockey or not – perseverance will be the deciding factor of what teams succeed and what teams fail in this condensed season.

“We just have to make better decisions with the puck and without the puck,” Sulzer said. “Eliminating chances from the opponent – that’s how we’re going to win hockey games.”

Miller stopped 29 shots tonight. He now has a 3.11 GAA and a .906 save percentage

“We got all the way to 3-1 and then just played stupid. I guess that’s the right word,” Miller said.

While they had a big win against the Boston Bruins, the Sabres have lost six of their last seven games.  They are now last in the Northeast Division with a 3-5-1 record.

Buffalo heads to Scotiabank Place to faceoff against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

3 Stars:

1. Thomas Vanek

2. Brian Campbell

3. Cody Hodgson

 

NOTES:

•Christian Ehrhoff continues to lead with 23:21 TOI.

•26-19-29 all finished the night at +3.

•Grigorenko had 15:04 TOI.

•Buffalo had merely 4 shots on goal in the third period.

•Tonight was Cody Hodgson’s 100th career game.

 

WHO REALLY WON?

John Scott and George Parros faced off tonight.

•Scott won the fight.

•Parros scored.

What would Buffalo rather see? Let me answer! ….. A GOAL!

 

 

Olga Khmylev

Olga Khmylev

Buffalo Sabres Contributor
"Hockey is a man's sport." Thank you Mom & Dad! ☺ Ever since my dream of becoming the 1st female NHLer was crushed, I decided to pursue a career that would keep me involved with the most entertaining sport in the world. The Sabres are in my blood. My first game I ever attended was at age 2 and I think I spent 59 minutes of the game sleeping in the wives room... ha! Things have slightly changed since then and now my eyes are permanently glued to the ice whenever a game is on. I've been lucky enough to work as a PR intern for the Buffalo Sabres during the 2011 World Jrs and as a Results Manager for the International Ice Hockey Federation at the 2012 & 2013 World Jrs. The next chapter of my life involves entertaining you… Enjoy! 🙂 Twitter: @OlgaKhmylev
Olga Khmylev
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