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Not Much Different on the West Coast for Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres traveled to California this past week and played in 3 tough games.  While they won one of those, the effort was barely noticeable in the other 2 games.  Buffalo had games against the San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, and Anaheim Ducks.

San Jose:

This was the opening game of the 3 game road trip and the one with the best result: a win.  Buffalo had a lot of fire power in this one and was able to defeat one of the top teams in the NHL with a 5-4 win in a shootout.  Drew Stafford, who hasn’t been great so far, scored his second goal of the season and chipped an assist.  It seemed like every other player who is not known for scoring, also hit the back of the net for the blue and gold.  Cody McCormick and Henrik Tallinder scored as well.  Tyler Ennis (who is supposed to be good for 20-25 goals), got number 2 on the season early in the 3rd period.

Ryan Miller faced a firing squad in this game.  His team gave up leads of 3-1 and 4-3.  Miller faced a season-high 51 shots from the Sharks, stopping 47 of them.  He kept his team in the game and came up big when he had to.  Just when it looked like things were turning around……

Los Angeles:

The Sabres were back at their old ways with a loss
The Sabres were back at their old ways with a loss.
(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The Sabres put up a goose-egg against the Kings and lost 2-0.  It was the 4th time this season the Sabres have been shutout.  Ryan Miller was given the night off and Jhonas Enroth made 26 saves in the loss.  He had given up 6 goals in his previous stars.  Both of the Kings goals came on the power-play courtesy of Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar.  Jonathan Quick had a light night as he only had to make 19 saves.  The shutout was the 26th of his career.


Ryan Getzalf outscored the Sabres by himself
Ryan Getzalf outscored the Sabres by himself!
(Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

The good news from this game was the fact that Buffalo got on the board and scored 2 goals.  The bad news is they allowed 6 goals in another loss.  Mikhail Grigorenko scored twice in the loss.  Grigorenko is still trying to find his way in the NHL.  While he is too good to go back to Juniors, he is unable to be sent down to the AHL.  Hence most nights he is on the 3rd/4th line or a healthy scratch in the press box.  Ryan Miller saved 28 shots of 34 and was relieved by Enroth to start the 3rd period.  Enroth made 12 saves.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about this game was the fact that Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf had a hat-trick.  More impressive was that he achieved it all in the 1st period.  Speaking of the 1st period, Buffalo was outshot 22-7.  Buffalo’s special teams were lackluster as the Sabres went 0-2 on the power-play and allowed 2 Ducks power-play goals.

If the Sabres were at least competitive in these games, it wouldn’t be so bad.  (see Buffalo Bills)  The Sabres look like they are on their way to a lottery pick in next year’s NHL draft.

Bob Duggan

Bob Duggan

Huge Sabres and hockey fan! Attends several games a year. Enjoys seeing Coaches Corner and Don Cherry. Glad there is an NHL season! Sabres winning the Cup in 2013! Follow me on twitter @dugganbob
Bob Duggan

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