Quick Hits: Sabres at Ducks

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The Sabres made their only trip to Anaheim, Wednesday, to play the Ducks in their first of a three-game road trip.

Robin Lehner got the start for Buffalo, while it was Frederick Anderson in net for Anaheim.

Sam Reinhart was once again centering what some are calling the “top line” with Evander Kane and Justin Bailey. Matt Moulson has returned to his spot on the fourth line.

Carlo Colaiacovo finally made his way back into the lineup following Tuesday’s trade sending Mike Weber to the Capitals for a 2017 3rd round pick. Colaiacovo has played just two games since December 7, 2015. His only games were against the Panthers on January 5th, and against the Canadiens on February 12th. He is another possible candidate to be traded at the deadline.

While the first few minutes pointed to the Ducks out playing the Sabres, the rest of the period was largely controlled by Buffalo. Brian Gionta had a great chance during a mad scramble in front of Frederik Anderson, but couldn’t push the puck towards the net. A few minutes later, Jack Eichel entered the zone and found a streaking Nic Deslauriers, who shot the puck right at Anderson’s chest.

With about four minutes left in the first, Evander Kane took a run at Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm, and the two players knees collided. Lindholm went down, while the Ducks chased Kane around for a little bit. In the same play, Kesler stuck his leg out on Rasmus Risolainen and took a kneeing penalty. The major difference in the two hits was Kane didn’t stick his knee out. The Sabres did not generate anything from the power play.

The rest of the period was very chippy. Ryan Garbutt took little shots at Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel, as well as running over Zach Bogosian when he did not have the puck. The game had a lot of emotions on both sides by the end of the period.

“It’s definitely an emotional game so far,” said Josh Gorges during his first intermission MSG interview.

The Sabres out chanced the Ducks 6-2 as well as out shooting them 9-6. There were many hits in the first, 18 coming from the Ducks, and 10 coming from the Sabres. However, the game remained scoreless.

Early in the second period, the referees completely botched a Mark Pysyk tripping penalty. Pysyk skated casually behind the net, a Duck chasing him from behind fell, and Pysyk got a penalty when he didn’t touch the fore-checker.

On the power play, Sami Vatanen fired a wrist shot from the point and into the back of the net. The puck found its way through loads of traffic in front. Three Sabres and two Ducks were all in front of Lehner. Getzlaf and Lindholm were credited with the assists.

The Sabres got a power play opportunity of their own about three minutes later. The Sabres had a great chance with the puck laying in the crease, but could not cash in. Getzlaf raced down for a 2-on-2 shorthanded rush for the Ducks just after. Eichel made a horrible decision to stay with Getzlaf after the Ducks forwards crossed, and almost cost Buffalo a goal against.

Sam Reinhart was injured during the power play with an injured leg. While trying to block a clearing attempt, it looked like Reinhart took the puck right between the legs.

The Ducks returned to the power play at the eight-minute mark, but Robin Lehner stood tall making all four saves to kill off the penalty.

From start to finish the period was owned by the Ducks. They possessed the puck in the Sabres end for the majority of the period.

Late in the period on a 3-on-1 for the Sabres Justin Bailey came oh so close to scoring his first National Hockey League goal on a rebound from Evander Kane’s shot. He has had several great chances since he has been recalled to get his first. It has to be coming soon.

Robin Lehner kept the Sabres in the game in the second. He turned away 14 of 15 shots in the period, including several difficult stops. Frederick Anderson faced 11 shots, but most were from bad angles. Anaheim had an astounding 14 scoring chances in the second.

Just three seconds into the third, Jakub Silfverberg took  high sticking penalty. The Sabres had an early opportunity to tie the game, but failed to even set up in the Anaheim zone before the penalty expired.

The Sabres had a tough time getting chances in the third. Marcus Foligno, of all players,  actually ended up generating the most. One one play he cut to the net alone and almost scored. On another play he spun, fired a pass across ice, and found an open Gionta who’s shot was saved.

Jack Eichel had maybe his worst game as a Sabre. He turned the puck over repeatedly, and did it a few times in front of his net. He also had a tough time generating almost any offense.

Even when Robin Lehner was pulled for the extra attacker, the Sabres could not get anything towards Anderson. They managed just six shots in the period.

The Sabres were shut out for the fifth time in the season with their 1-0 loss.

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  • Bryan Cranston’s half second cameos 

the-lustgarten-foundation-for-pancreatic-cancer-ft-bryan-cranston-large-3For Basically every game this season during commercial breaks on MSG, there is always a split second clip of Bryan Cranston saying “pancreatic” before cutting to the start of another ad.

One can only assume that he is about to talk about pancreatic cancer.

After 61 games, you would think MSG would have found away to fix this. It’s okay though. Most love Cranston, and even a half second of the great Walter White is a half second we can all enjoy.

 

  • Sabres first game with Mike Weber not in organization since the infamous Game 7 vs. Carolina

Mike Weber was drafted in the 2nd round by the Buffalo Sabres way back in 2006. Ever since he has been in the organization, most of which playing for the team.

The last game before Mike Weber was not in the Sabres organization, I was 11 years old, and it was the last time I cried because of sports. The Game 7 Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Ironic that in that game the Sabres had literally no depth left on the blue line, and Mike Weber was just traded to a great team to be defensive depth.

  • Robin Lehner’s new mask is sick 

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 12.05.31 AMLehner’s new all white mask is cool and it is different. It is way better than his all grey mask that he has been wearing all season. It certainly looks better with the Sabres road uniforms.

It is also fun when the teams starting goalie changes his helmet.

Marty Biron changed his helmet a few times during his time in Buffalo, but Ryan Miller had the same helmet design his entire time in Buffalo.

It is fun for the fans, especially kids, to see new helmets. It is like a new part of the uniforms.

  • Sabres fan trolls Ducks broadcast for several minutes

This gentleman in the “buffaslug” Drew Stafford uniform, literally stared into the Ducks pregame broadcast camera for at least two minutes.

You can even tell from the look on the broadcasters faces that they were uncomfortable and curious to what this Stafford loving Sabre fan was up to. After a few minutes he got bored and walked out of the picture.

Written by Joe DiBiase

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