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Sabres hold on for 2-1 win over New Jersey



Buffalo, NY (WGR 550)  -- Welcome once again into the Ted Darling Memorial Press Box, as the Buffalo Sabres take to the ice for the first time in 2014 in front of the hometown crowd at First Niagara Center. The New Jersey Devils made it to town alright after dropping a decision to the Chicago Blackhawks last night.

The blue and gold will dress two different players from the normal lineup tonight. Zenon Konopka was just claimed off of waivers yesterday, but will suit up along with Brayden McNabb. They will take the place of Drew Stafford (injury) and Alexander Sulzer (healthy) respectively. For more from today's morning skate, click here for Paul Hamilton's pregame primer.

Feel free to add your comments in the thread below, and I will add my thoughts in between the scoring plays. Also, be sure to give myself and Brian Koziol a follow on Twitter: @PatWGR and @BrianWGR.

First Period

17:41 - Zenon Konopka takes his first shift with the Sabres. As expected, he is paired with Matt Ellis and John Scott.

16:44 - Matt D'Agostini has one of the worst shifts you will see on the ice, and still nearly scored the game's first goal. He lost his stick in the far corner of the offensive zone, regathered himself and got outmuscled in thr slot, but got a weak shot off that Cory Schneider was able to tip. The puck went off of the post and no damge was done. 

9:35 - What a riverting game between these two teams. Shots on goal are 3-2, Sabres. Somebody wake me up in the third period.

7:40 - The Sabres are going to the power play after Tyler Ennis drove the New Jersey net. Steve Bernier will sit for the net two minutes or less for interference.

5:32 - ...and the power play is over with a whimper. I do not think the blue and gold recorded a shot on goal during the man advantage.

2:56 - Buffalo is able to kill off John Scott's holding minor, and the two teams are back to 5-aside. Konopka had a key faecoff win in his own end to get the puck back to the defense and kill some clock.
End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: none
NJD: none

Penalty Summary

BUF: 14:59 - John Scott (2 min., holding)
NJD: 12:20 - Steve Bernier (2 min., interference)

Shots on Goal

BUF - 4, NJD - 7


Second Period

15:15 - So, the middle stanza is underway and there have been a combined two shots on goal. Both by Buffalo. Welcome to the NHL built by Lou Lamoriello, isn't it wonderful.

12:39 - To the commentor in the thread below: do you mean the Sabres and/or Devils? Because, really, in this case I am not sure who you are referring to.

11:36 - Brian Flynn with the best scoring chance of the game, but he was not able to slide his backhand attempt past Schneider and the game stays scoreless. That was a chance that needed to be buried to bring some life into this place.

6:17 - The Sabres are able to kill off another penalty, and this time it was Ryan Miller who had to bail his teammates out. There was a very good chance that made it through, but the netminder was up to the task.

2:24 - The blue and gold are going back to the power play for the second time in short order. Here is the chance to gain some momentum heading into the final frame.

:30.4 - SABRES GOAL. And on command Matt Moulson banks home a rebound chance and the blue and gold notch a power play score. 1-0 BUF.

End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: 19:29 - Matt Moulson (14) PPG (Tyler Ennis)
NJD: none

Penalty Summary

BUF: 11:29 - Mike Weber (2 min., hooking)
NJD: 14:38 - Dainus Zubrus (2 min., tripping). 17:36 - Andrei Loktionov (2 min., tripping). 

Shots on Goal

BUF - 12 (16), NJD - 7 (14)


Third Period

15:31 - A gawdy three shots on goal this period. Man, I am having trouble keeping up with them all.

15:09 - Mike Weber just missed sending Andrei Loktionov into next year with an open ice hit, and as a result he has to fight Ryane Clowe. Weber just missed the big, clean hit but has to answer for it anyways. Dumb.

12:58 - Tyler Myers is in the penalty box for a hit to the head of Dainus Zubrus. It actually saves the Sabres a goal against as the Devils put the puck past Miller but the whistle was blown by one of the referee's first. Buffalo is two men short for the next minute.

12:14 - DEVILS GOAL. Michael Ryder drives the net and beats Ryan Miller short side with a chance and this game is tied. The goal comes with New Jersey in the midst of a 5-on-3 power play opportunity. 1-1 tie.

8:11 - SABRES GOAL. Matt D'Agostini cuts to the net and pitchforks the puck into the net to give Buffalo its second lead of the night. Steve Ott collected the puck from the referee afterward for D'Agostini's first goal as a Sabre. 2-1 BUF.

3:11 - Jon Merrill heads to the box for interference, and the Sabres can put this game away late. 

1:00 - Schneider has gone to the bench in favor of an extra attacker.


End of Game

Buffalo 2, New Jersey 1


Goal Summary

BUF: 11:49 - Matt D'Agostini (1) PPG (Steve Ott, Linus Omark)
NJD: Michael Ryder (13) (Travis Zajac, Marek Zidlicky)

Penalty Summary

BUF: 4:51 - Mike Weber (5 min., fighting). 6:03 - TEAM (2 min., too many men on the ice). 7:02 - Tyler Myers (2 min., illegal check to the head).
NJD: 4:51 - Ryane Clowe (5 min., fighting). 10:03 - Dainus Zubrus (2 min., interference). 16:49 - Jon Merrill (2 min., interference).

Shots on Goal

BUF - 6 (22), NJD - 8 (22)   


Final Thoughts

Ryan Miller was good enough when he had to be, and tonight the special teams did its part to give the blue and gold their fifth straight home victory. I am not sure there is anything that the coaching staff can use from this game in the way of teaching or evaluating, but a win is a win. They Devils played their style and Buffalo was just that much better. It was good to see the two goals come because of hard work in front of the net. That is the way most goals are scored in the league now, so you need them to win games. The Sabres continue their homestand on Tuesday night. Buffalo hosts the Carolina Hurricanes just after seven o'clock on the the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550. Pregame coverage begins at 6 p.m. 


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People : Alexander SulzerBrayden McNabbBrian KoziolDrew StaffordPaul Hamilton
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