DON’T GET ME STARTED watched the Sabres come out hitting, and then did a lot of shooting and scoring to open the season with a 5-2 victory over the winless Philadelphia Flyers.
Buffalo scored the first goal of the game and after trailing 2-1 in the second period, tied the game. Then in the final period, they pumped in three goals to win the game. That gave the sold out crowd a lot to cheer about. Those 3rd period goals came off the sticks of Tyler Myers and Cody Hodgson and Thomas Vanek (into an empty net.)
While the Sabres controlled the play in the first period, leading 1-0 but relaxed in the second period when the Flyers took a 2-1 lead. But they came out firing in the final 20 minutes to net the trio of tallies to skate away with the victory.
Buffalo poured 39 shots on goalie Bryzgalov while Miller was called on to make 26 saves. Lindy Ruff has to be happy with his power play units that used the man advantage to score a couple of timely goals.
The Sabres gave the sold out crowd something to cheer about 9 minutes into the game when Buffalo capitalized on a power play on a fine pass from Jason Pominville to Steve Ott in the high slot. The new Sabres quickly slapped a shot that sailed into the net. Thomas Vanek also got an assist on the play.
When the referees disallowed a tying goal in the first period due to “goalie interference”, even Buffalo fans were amazed that the call was made. After one period, Buffalo led 1-0.
Ryan Miller wasn’t tested as he was forced to make only 7 shots.
Two and a half minutes into the second period, the Flyers tied it up when Andrej Meszaros tipped in a shot by Jakub Voracek and it was 1-1.
The tie lasted about 2 minutes when Philadelphia would take its first lead of the season on a power play tally by the Flyers captain, Claude Giroux who took a slap shot after passes from Kimimo Timonen and Wayne Simmons.
The refs went to work again on Philadelphia, putting the Sabres on a 5-3 with just over 4 minutes left in the second period. One of the calls was for too many men on the ice. As the first penalty was about to expire, Thomas Vanek burst in from the left side, moved toward the center of the ice as he barged in on Bryzgalov, gave him a deke and put it into an empty net to tie the score 2-2 heading into the final 20 minutes.
The Flyers played a much better 2nd period than they did in the first, peppering Miller with 10 shots.
Then came the final 20 minutes with fans wondering whether the opening game would result in overtime and/or a shootout. But with 5:03 left in the game, the Sabres went on another power play making the Flyers pay when Tyler Myers, the tall defenseman blasted one from inside the blue line that zipped into the net. That made it 3-2. That turned out to be the game winner.
They added the insurance goal shortly thereafter on a tally by Cody Hodgson and it became 4-2. With less than a minute left, Philadelphia pulled the goalie and Thomas Vanek got his second of the game on a feed from Pominville to race in and put it into the empty net.
The Sabres won’t get much rest since they travel to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs in a tussle Monday night between two teams that won their opening matches in the shortened hockey season on Don’t Get Me Started.
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