Photo: Bill Wippert
The Buffalo Sabres are having a rough season. They’re the worst team in the league and possibly one of the worst teams we’ve seen in this whole era. And yet, even a really bad team will beat a goalie sometimes. That’s exactly what happened on Sunday as the Sabres eked out a lead in the second period despite getting outpossessed like cray cray. No worries though, the Caps stole the game back and forced overtime. But then there was still the small matter of Ryan Miller.
After 39 scoreless minutes Drew Stafford tipped in Christian Ehrhoff’s shot while John Erskine checked his fantasy football scores or something. Troy Brouwer finally cracked Ryan Miller after 32 saved shots with a streaking snapper in the third. It stood like that through regulation and overtime.
- Matt Moulson got grub’d.
- Eric Fehr hates the shootout, doesn’t score.
- Tyler Ennis got grub’d.
- Alex Ovechkin rejected by a sidelong Miller.
- Zemgus Girgensons (really? that’s his name?) got grub’d.
- Nick Backstrom goes into the pads.
- Linus Omark got grub’d.
- Mikhail Grabovski wraps for naught.
- Brian Flynn got grub’d.
- Troy Brouwer missed high.
- Steve Ott roofed it to score.
- Mike Green rejected.
Sabres beat Caps 2-1 (Shootout)!
I made fun of Buffalo natives Goo Goo Dolls on Twitter earlier, so here’s me making amends. This song isn’t so bad. Then again, it’s like plagiarism against the Replacements.
- Philipp Grubauer didn’t have to do much of anything early in this one, but midway through the third period he made some athletic saves that kept the game tied. Really impressive stuff from the youngling through 65 and the shootout, but did you see the puck rolling along the crease in the final minute all la dee da?!
- Alex Ovechkin recorded his 200th shot of the season. Ovi also cracked double-digit shots against the Sabres back in March, which was a big deal for me in tracking Ovi’s resurgence this year.
- Troy Brouwer and the newfangled second line has a lot of potential, and they’re only starting to realize it. Troy forced Ryan Miller to make three saves beore beating him with the fourth. And what a fantastic shot it was. Not to mention, and let me know when this gets repetitive, Mikhail Grabovski‘s uncanny pass. Here’s how your boy John Walton called the whole sequence:
- I had very strong words about Aaron Volpatti in today’s snapshot. In a game where the Caps owned more than 66% of 5v5 shot attempts, when Volpatti was on ice that number dropped to 43.8%.
- One of the side effects of owning the puck is not taking restraining penalties. Besides Wilson’s forced fight, the Caps had just one whistle, a matching pair for roughing when Jay Beagle got a bit rabid in front of Miller’s net.
- John Erskine missed a chance to stab away the Stafford goal if he had only put his stick down on the inside. To be fair, Joel Ward lost Ehrhoff as well.
- Tom Wilson put a clean hit on Ville Leino in the second period. In today’s NHL, that means he had to fight.
- Dmitry Orlov took a big ol’ hit from Tyler Ennis late in the third. Ennis got airtime and Orlov lost his helmet. Looked like a doozy, but Orly returned to play. For the record, Marcus Foligno did not fight anyone after that one.
- Ryan Miller is awesome. He was flawless in the shootout. I love Quick, but come February give me the dude with a great head of hair in the red white and blue.
(Keeping this one short again as I’ve apparently contracted whatever disease it is that makes you stupid with the words and the sentences and the arranging of words into sentences. My apologies.)
The Caps played great, but sometimes a goalie is gonna steal a game. After so many games of that goalie being Grubauer, it went the other way this time. Whatever, the Capitals did it again, and by “it” I mean give a team an uncontested standings point. Man, that has gotta stop.
Before we go, please tell me how puck possession is just for nerds and tells us nothing about the game by using the Buffalo Sabres, who are dead last in puck possession and have a record of 10-24-4, as your case study.
Oh well. Not the worst way to spend a Sunday night. The worst way to spend a night is watching and reading end-of-season coverage about a team that is so very much worse than our beloved Capitals that I get nauseated at the merest comparison.
Crash the net, and all aboard the bandwagon. We got room for everyone.