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Shorty Stymies Sabres

Saturday, 03.10.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
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Shorty Stymies Sabres

March 10, 2007
By Brian Wheeler

The Buffalo Sabres power play unit got caught and they've been getting caught of late.

While Sergei Brylin sat comfortably in the penalty box for four minutes after bloodying Derek Roy with a high stick, the New Jersey Devils capitalized on a shorthanded, odd-man rush to tack on the winning goal of a 3-2 victory at HSBC Arena.

It was off to the races for Jim Dowd, who blocked Nathan Paetsch's point shot to create the rush. Dowd spun and setup trailer Brian Rafalski for his fourth game-winning goal of the season at 19:32 of the second period.

Buffalo was overloaded down low looking for a rebound or deflection.

"To get a shorthanded goal to let the other team win the game is a tough way to lose a game," said head coach Lindy Ruff. "We had Brian [Campbell] deep down low and if the shot gets through or even if [Paetsch] passes it to Brian, we're in pretty good position."

Disheartening as that goal was, it has become a common occurrence during Buffalo's three-game losing streak. In each loss, a shorthanded tally by the opposition has played a major role in determining each contest's outcome.

Not scoring on the double minor would have hurt momentum, but allowing the game winner with the man advantage and only 48 seconds remaining in the second period against the Eastern Conference's best defensive team was fatal.

It also sapped any energy Buffalo created from tying the game three minutes earlier.

"That kind of killed us," said Drew Stafford of the shorthanded goal. "It was tough to get back from that."

"That one hurts. We battled hard after that and didn't just give up. We created some chances, but it just didn't go our way."

Buffalo outshot the Devils 10-6 in the third period, 33-26 for the game, but couldn't get the equalizer past Martin Brodeur.

In their last five games, Buffalo's special teams have been anything but special, going 2-15 for a 13.3 percent success rate.

"There hasn't been a real flow of power plays in our last three games," said Paetsch. "It was just one or two here and there."

Buffalo, who has sat atop the Eastern Conference since opening night, is now just one point ahead of New Jersey in the standings.

"We want to win our conference and it was definitely a game we wanted to win," said Paetsch. "But we have to move on."

It took five games, but Dainius Zubrus finally recorded a point as a Buffalo Sabre.

Zubrus fired a wristshot from the right wing that deflected off Brad Lukowich's stick and over the outstretched glove of Martin Brodeur to give Buffalo the 1-0 lead at 3:23 of the first. The goal is Zubrus' 21st of the season; his first 20 came as a member of the Washington Capitals.

Cutting down the slot, Travis Zajac redirected Jamie Langenbrunner's wristshot over Ryan Miller's right shoulder to tie the game two minutes later.

"A team like that, they play really well defensively," said Stafford. "There isn't really end-to-end action going on."

Michael Rupp gave New Jersey its first lead with a little garbage cleanup. Rupp scored his fifth goal of the season and made the score 2-1 collecting a loose puck in front and slipping it just inside the left post just 33 seconds into the second period.

A quick shot by Paetsch and a redirection by Daniel Briere tied the game at 2-2.

Slipping into position in front of Brodeur, Briere got just enough of the defenseman's wristshot from the point to alter it's path over the goalie's right pad at 16:12 of the second.
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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82