The big story heading into the game was Buffalo’s injuries. Scratched from the Sabres’ lineup were Tim Connolly, Thomas Vanek, Patrick Kaleta, and Raffi Torres.
Filling in for the injured players was Buffalo’s tremendous trio of young talent: Tyler Ennis, Nathan Gerbe, and Mark Mancari.
All three players had solid games, and Ennis broke up several Boston offensive rushes.
Other than the injured players, there were very few things missing from the Sabres’ game in arguably their most well-balanced win of the season.
Every forward had at least 11 minutes of ice time, and not one forward had more than 17:16.
Rookie sensation Tyler Myers continued his hot streak with a goal and an assist. He now has nine points and is a plus-four in his last eight games.
“It was really big for us, especially with the spot they’re in and the desperation they have,” Myers told the Associated Press after the win. “It was a huge road win for us. As a team right now, we’re focused on moving forward.”
Derek Roy assisted on Tim Kennedy’s game-winning goal in the second period to give him his 18th point this month. The goal marks Kennedy’s sixth point in eight games since being moved onto Roy’s line.
Buffalo’s penalty kill stopped both of Boston’s power plays with relative ease due to the play of Paul Gaustad, Mike Grier, and the often under-appreciated penalty killer, Jason Pominville.
Pominville blocked two shots and created a shorthanded breakaway chance for himself with his disciplined play on the penalty kill.
Despite letting in a soft goal late in the third period, Vezina favorite Ryan Miller stopped 40 of Boston’s 42 shots to preserve the victory.
The only blemish on Buffalo’s game was the play of defenseman Andrej Sekera, whose lack of hustle in the first period led to Boston’s first goal.
Sekera, considered an offensive defenseman, has just one point in his last 14 games.
Sekera played in place of Chris Butler, who was a healthy scratch. The two defensemen have switched their role as a healthy scratch back and forth for a majority of the season—it is still a mystery in regards to which player will be the Sabres’ sixth defender for the playoffs.
In the wake of several injuries, the Sabres pulled together for their best team victory of the season.