Game #64 Recap: Everybody Gets Two Points Night!
Biggest win of the season? Best character-building game? Strongest all-around effort? Gutsy comeback? All of the above.
After a disastrous-looking first period in which the Sabres looked like 9th place and the Flyers looked like 1st place, the Sabres decided to battle it out by taking advantage of turnovers, enjoying a little luck, and never giving up. The end result was a massive 5-3 win over Philly that was capped off by an empty net goal by Nathan Gerbe that Time Warner Cable subscribers got stiffed on.
As Buffalo-born stand up comedian Greg Kashmanian (shameless Buffalove plug!) pointed out to me, the Sabres biggest weakness turned into their saving grace following the crazy second period – their defensive coverage and breakout. Keeping the Flyers from getting close to Miller saved their hides today.
The scoresheet looks how it ought to, with four offensive cogs and a role player all recording two points (Vanek, Boyes, Sekera, Ennis, and Gaustad) in the win. These point give Vanek 29 points in 29 games since Roy’s injury, Boyes 4 points in his 3 games played as a Sabre, and Sekera four consecutive games with 2 points.
Tomorrow’s game versus Minnesota suddenly is a lot bigger following today’s improbable victory inside the Wells Fargo Center. Jhonas Enroth is expected to start versus the Wild, chasing his fourth win of the season. Another Pirate will be joining the Sabres in the State of Hockey to replace the injured Hecht and Grier, however the team hasn’t decided who’s making the trip yet.
A win any way you cut it puts the Sabres into 8th place. A regulation win tomorrow for the Flyers versus the Rangers gives the Sabres a chance to move into 7th as well. With the PHI/NYR game starting at 12:30PM EST, the Sabres will know by warm-ups if they’ve got a chance to hop two spots in the standings.