As Gus Johnson would say, the Sabres were Coooold Blooooded last night. They walked into the Verizon Center and they dropped the hammer on the Capitals. Buffalo skated and hit their way to a 5-1 win and sole ownership of 8th place. After the first 10 minutes of the first period this game was never close.
Alex Ovechkin had the chance to again carry his team and prove he is a true superstar. Instead he literally and figurativley fell on his face. Ovechkin was dangerous one maybe two times throughout the entire game. Tyler Myers and Andrej Sekera used their speed to take away the time and space AO had. He couldn't pick up any speed in the neutral zone and was noticeably frusterated numerous times. Eventually causing him to coast and disappear. If you want a blue print how to stop Ovechkin watch the game last night.
I want to touch on a few guys that deserve a lot of props for their performance last night. First Ryan Miller, he has returned to Vezina Year form. He is reason number one, two, and three Buffalo has made the run they are on now. This run started on January 24th with a shootout win in NJ. In that time Miller is 19-3-5 with a 1.80 GAA and a .940 save %. He has allowed one goal or less in his last 5 games. He has rebounded from a poor/injury riddled start and now he is carrying his team.
Two other guys I want to touch on from the blue line are Andrej Sekera and Alexander Sulzer. Sekera has been one of the top D-men over the last 20 games. Solid in his own end and producing offensively. His combination of speed and physical play make him a dominant force on the blue line. Where did Alex Sulzer come from? He has been nothing but a surprise, he has 3 points and is a +3 in 13 games. Sulzer has found chemistry with fellow countryman Ehrhoff and the two have locked it down. Buffalo was down to four defenders last night at one point and they never missed a beat. Stick tap to the 5 men on the blue line last night.
Last two I want to touch on are Drew Stafford and Cody Hodgson. Stafford has come to life with Ennis and Foligno adding two more goals last night. He looks like the Stafford from last season playing with speed and using his body like he should. He has 19 goals and could get near 25 which would not be a bad season after such a poor start. CoHo struggled early in his Buffalo career, but he has found his stride. Last night he was flying, splitting the Caps slow defenders numerous times. One time resulting in Vanek burrying the 3rd goal on a rebound that sent Holtby to the showers. Playing big minutes on the PK and as a top six center. Exciting future for Sabres fans.
The bad news that came out of the game last night was the injury to Ehrhoff. He left after a nasty knee on knee freak collision with Troy Brouwer. Ruff said today the news was better than expected, but he is still going to miss sometime. I am betting on a knee sprain. Weber must step in and play his role like the other five on the blue line.
Next up the Pens on Friday. Magic # to clinch is 9.
Want a summary of last nights game? Watch Sabres captain Jason Pominville put in the dagger...
Love this clip and the Sabres were sure Cold Blooded last night...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuK5X8MRLdc
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