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Sabres open playoffs with 2-1 victory.

Filed under: Puck Stop, Sports

1063 days.

That’s the amount of days that had elapsed since the Sabres last played a postseason game. Elliot Spitzer was just a governor, W was still our President, and the words “Yes We Can” had yet to register on the national consciousness. It seems like such a long time, doesn’t it?

But while the wait was a bit longer than we’d have liked, it was well worth it to the fans who were able to see it. Especially if you’re a fan of the home folks as the Sabres were able to defeat the Bruins 2-1 in the opener of this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.

The Sabres came out guns blazing and grabbed the early lead as Thomas Vanek continued his hot play by scoring his sixth goal in his last three games since coming off from injury. And the action became pretty physical with a major brawl taking place near the end of the first period, even the usually calm Toni Lydman got into the act tossing punches with Milan Lucjic in the midst of it.

The brawl seemed to wake up the Bruins, as they came out of the intermission and took the momentum to the tune of twenty four shots in the second period. Ryan Miller was able to stop almost all of them, save for one from the ageless Mark Recchi who was able to knot the game at one.

But despite the B’s fine second period efforts, it wasn’t enough to send them to the intermission with a draw, as Craig Rivet fired a shot from the right point late in the second which would prove to be the game winner. Both goaltenders were stellar in keeping both teams off of the scoreboard in the final stanza.

Game Two will be on Saturday at 1PM

Other notes from the night that was:

Craig Rivet’s game winner was his first in the post season.

Is 13 a lucky number? Note the numbers of the two Sabre goal scorers. Vanek(26) and Rivet(52) are divisible evenly by 13. Yep, I’m reaching.

Big oops by the folks in the penalty box. Zdeno Chara was sent to the penalty box on a double minor for cross checking and for roughing as part of the big scrum that occured in the first period. Mysteriously Chara was let out after only two minutes and got a shot off as well before officials noticed the error. Have to wonder what officials would have done if he had scored a goal during his time out on the ice?

Buffalo 2, Boston 0. The Bisons also defeated the Pawtucket Red Sox earlier in the day by a score of 3-2 in 10 innings. Boston pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka did very well in a rehab stint pitching six strong innings of shutout baseball.