Overreactions, 16/48 Edition: Sabres lose to Penguins, unimaginative post titles abound

20130217 regehrIt didn’t start well, and it sure as hell didn’t end well.

Buffalo overcame an early 2-0 deficit only to blow a third period lead on their way to a 4-3 defeat in front of a national audience on Hockey Day in America.

Ryan Miller was fuming afterwards.

“It’s 3-3, get to overtime. It’s 3-2, fucking make them come all the way down. We work too hard,” said Miller, who made 31 saves, many of which were quite good. [full audio below]

Pittsburgh scored twice in the opening 1:27 of the game on goals by Pascal Dupuis and Sidney Crosby. Buffalo crawled back one on a Cody Hodgson goal five minutes later.

In the second period, Thomas Vanek scored his league-leading 12th goal of the season on a two-man advantage to tie the game. It would remain deadlocked until Steve Ott gave the Sabres the lead just past the five minute mark of the third period.

That lead would not even last two minutes as Dupuis scored his second of the game to tie it on a gorgeous pass from Kris Letang.

“We had a real good third period going until that moment,” said coach Lindy Ruff. “Chances were way down our chances were way up. We were putting some heat on them, we didn’t take advantage.”

Pittsburgh would take the lead at 17:56 of the third period on a goal by former Golden Gopher Paul Martin.

“It’s up to us be better in our zone,” said captain Jason Pominville, whose line was on the ice for two of the three Penguins goals at even strength.

Buffalo falls to 6-9-1 on the year and 3-4-1 at First Niagara Center.

  • Didn’t know if you knew this, but that Sidney Crosby? He’s good. In 22 games against the Sabres, 12 goals, 20 assists. Yeah. He’s good.
  • Lots of Penguins fans in the crowd today. Combination of proximity, Pittsburgh’s winning and the lack of desire Sabres fans have to actually go to games can be blamed. When you have so many season ticket holders, you shouldn’t see such a large traveling contingent. That’s your own fault.
  • Christian Ehrhoff was fantastic today. Team leading 24:18, two assists. He’s the team’s #1 defenseman. The contract it took to sign him can be considered a steal any day now.
  • There was a shift where the Sabres had their fourth line (Cody McCormick Jochen Hecht centering John Scott and Patrick Kaleta) out against Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Surprisingly, Pittsburgh almost scored. Maybe not do that in the future. (Note: after review, Pittsburgh made the change after an icing. One of the perils of having a line of slobs. Stick tap to @penismightier_)
  • Thomas Vanek’s effortless deflections in front of the net are one of my favorite things ever. He finds his spot. You know exactly what he wants to do. All it takes is the right shot and there’s nothing the opposing goalie can do to stop it.
  • Crosby did gain ground on Vanek in the NHL scoring race, which the Sabres’ forward leads 25 to 24. Vanek’s 12 goals and Sid’s 17 assists both lead the league in their respective categories.
  • I absolutely loved seeing Miller that pissed off. Jason Pominville was himself, collected and sympathetic after the game. Steve Ott found some optimism there, which has its merits as well. But Miller was really, really pissed off. He should be. There’s no reason to blow that game like they did. That kind of frustration can bring the best out of people and the worst out of others. Wish more guys would show it so we’d know who was who.
  • Nathan Gerbe was getting a regular shift on the powerplay despite the fact he’s still goalless on the season. We’re a third of the way through. There’s not exactly tons of time to let guys work out the kinks anymore.
  • Can we all agree that Tyler Myers shouldn’t be on the ice when they’re down a goal in the last two minutes for the time being? He shows no urgency, never shows that he’s on the same page as everyone else and doesn’t have the performance to back it up right now to justify being out there at such a crucial time. He’s been a plus player in one game this season. One.
  • Still not sure what happened at the end of the game with Steve Ott, but once in a while, it’s good to see emotion like that when the horn goes and you lost. Make it look like you care.
  • Out of character for me, but credit to Cody McCormick for what he did during the fight with Tanner Glass. Glass appreciated it after the game.

    It’s that kind of attitude that keeps his spot on the team for him. He’s making a lot of money for not much production. Still want some changes in the bottom six, but good work today.

3MI Three Star Selections (vote entered around 6 minute mark of 3rd period)

1. Pascal Dupuis, Pittsburgh
2. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh
3. Thomas Vanek, Buffalo

Official Three Stars of the Game
1. Pascal Dupuis, Pittsburgh (2 goals (7), assist)
2. Thomas Vanek, Buffalo (goal (12), assist)
3. Paul Martin, Pittsburgh (GW goal (2))

Quote of the night:

Sabres G Ryan Miller:

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Posted on February 17, 2013, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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