Buffalo Sabres Insider App Twitter Facebook

Lexus

NOTEBOOK: D'AGOSTINI PLAYS BIG ROLE IN WIN

Saturday, 11.30.2013 / 11:09 AM / News
By Joe Ray  - Digital Content Intern
X
Share with your Friends


NOTEBOOK: D\'AGOSTINI PLAYS BIG ROLE IN WIN
Newly acquired right wing Matt D\u2019Agostini had a solid performance in his first appearance with the Buffalo Sabres.
                                                                                                                                              Photo Credit: Bill Wippert/Getty Images

Newly acquired right wing Matt D’Agostini had a solid performance in his first appearance with the Buffalo Sabres. D’Agostini was held off the score sheet, but he managed to record three shots on goal in 15:39 of ice time and finished the game with a plus-1 rating.

D’Agostini came in with a simple mindset, ready to work hard for the team, and he said he feels like he accomplished that against Toronto.

“I was just trying to work hard and contribute in any way I can,” D’Agostini said after Buffalo’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at First Niagara Center on Friday. “Early on, I didn’t want to try and do anything special, just work hard and shoot the puck. I think I passed up a couple opportunities, but it felt good to get the first one under my belt.”

Buffalo claimed the 27-year-old Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. native off waivers on Tuesday.

D’Agostini played right wing on a line with Ville Leino at center and captain Steve Ott at left wing and the three seemed to develop chemistry quickly as the game went on. D’Agostini was very complementary of the play of his linemates.

“Ville was great controlling the puck and rags it for a while and finds the open man, and [Ott’s] great on the forecheck. He’s hitting and creating space for other guys,” he said.

Ott was impressed with his new teammate’s debut.

“I’m sure it was pretty nerve-wracking,” Ott said. “That’s tough coming in to a new team and a new atmosphere and he just wants to have a good showing, but it was fun to play with him. I thought he was strong on pucks. He was ready for pucks all the time.”

D’Agostini, currently in his seventh season in the League, played 275 games with Montreal, St. Louis, New Jersey and Pittsburgh before joining the Sabres. In that time, D’Agostini totaled 47 goals and 49 assists. In 2010-11 as a member of the Blues, D’Agostini had his most productive season at the NHL level, notching 21 goals and 25 assists in 82 games.


D’Agostini had one of the biggest plays of the game in the final two minutes that kept Buffalo alive. With Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk on a breakaway against Ryan Miller, D’Agostini made a miraculous dive and swatted the puck away before knocking van Riemsdyk to the ice.

Keeping the game tied helped the Sabres get to overtime, where defenseman Christian Ehrhoff scored the game-winning goal.

“I think it was a good no-call, just tried to get as much puck as I can. It was a good thing I went down because I think he would have stepped through my stick,” D’Agostini said.

Ott was delighted to see that the referees opted to not call a penalty on D’Agostini.

“That was probably one of the best calls I’ve seen all year. He got all puck,” Ott said. “It was the right call, which was great to see. Obviously it would have been easy to just give him a penalty, but it was the right call and the right play.”

Miller was equally happy to see the calls bounce in favor of Buffalo after being displeased with both the officiating and the outcome in the team’s 3-1 loss to Montreal on Wednesday.

“We just talked about that, and it came around,” Miller said. “It was a great effort by D’Agostini. He got back hard, and he had to make the right decision. Ref decided that he got the puck, and we haven’t changed that rule where if you get the puck first, you’re probably not going to get the tripping penalty. Great effort getting back, and it helped us get to overtime.”

On Ehrhoff's goal, D'Agostini was parked in front of the net and prevented Toronto goaltender James Reimer from seeing the shot.

"If you look at the goal, D’Agostini, not only did he make a great defensive play on that one situation, but he was a great net-front presence on the goal," Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. "He didn’t stand off, try to tip it, he was in a good position to screen so that was a big play."


Coming into the game, Toronto and Buffalo have been two of the League’s worst teams when it comes to getting shots on net and keeping opposing teams from getting shots. Buffalo averaged 25.3 shots per game for and 36.0 shots against per game, while Toronto averaged 26.1 and 36.1, respectively.

Buffalo outshot Toronto 29-24 in the game and the Sabres improved to 1-3-0 in games in which they outshot their opponents. This was the second time in the past 15 games that the Sabres were able to generate more shots than their opponents.


Center Mikhail Grigorenko and defensemen Jamie McBain and Brayden McNabb were the healthy scratches for the Sabres.

Grigorenko was made a healthy scratch for the ninth time this season after playing in the last three games.

With the Sabres carrying eight defensemen, Nolan has been consistently rotating defensemen in and out of the lineup. McBain was a healthy scratch for his third straight game, while this was McNabb’s first game as a scratch since being called up from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. Mike Weber returned to the ice in place of McNabb.

Center Cody McCormick remained on injured reserve, but interim coach Ted Nolan said that McCormick could possibly be active for Saturday’s game in New Jersey. The Sabres and Devils will square off at 7 p.m. from Prudential Center.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

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