Sabres stave off elimination
by Peter Farrell - posted 10:21 pm, April 24, 2010
Last night, the Buffalo Sabres showed a grit and determination somewhat lacking in the first four games of the series and handed the Bruins a 4-1 loss in front of a lively and giddy crowd at the HSBC Arena downtown.
Like they did in every other game, the Sabres scored first. Adam Mair connected on a behind the net move that deflected off of goalie Tuukka Rask and into the net. Like they did in games 2 and 4 they also got the second goal of the game as Jason Pominville took a great feed from Adam Mair and deked around Rask to find the back of the net late in the first period.
But unlike those other times, Buffalo wouldn’t let go of the lead. Mike Grier would make it a three goal game firing a shot directly from a faceoff win by Paul Gaustad, and the celebration was on by the middle of the second period. There would be no worries, no chewing on the fingernails, and no pacing of the floor for Sabres fans on this night. And celebration would turn into delirium in the dying moments of the game as Tyler Ennis chased down a loose puck in the offensive zone and made a full length dive for it and swatted the the biscuit into an empty basket. Final score: Buffalo 4, Boston 1.
It was a Sabres team that played exactly how a team facing a 3-1 series deficit should. With heart, grit, and determination. When Boston was in the offensive zone, Buffalo was throwing themselves to the ice and blocking shots twenty six times in the course of the game. Mike Grier took one of those shots to the helmet which put him down on the ice for a bit.
The game ended in an ugly scrum that was centered around Bruins villain Zdeno Chara, even Ryan Miller got into the fray. His explanation: ” it was five on four, I had to take part.” Lindy Ruff drew hearty laughs in his post game comments, when he spoke about Chara. “One of our guys grabbed him around the neck, the second around the waist and the third by the legs and we got him down.” Chara received an instigator penalty, but it was learned on Saturday that the NHL will not suspend him for Game 6.
And the youngsters continue to perform….Tyler Ennis with a goal and an assist, Nathan Gerbe with an assist on the first goal. Tyler Myers being, well himself. Ennis is now the Sabres leading points scorer in these playoffs.
The Sabres have never won a series in which they’ve trailed 3-1. But they’ve come back from a 3-2 deficit before, last time being 1997(Ottawa)
The Czech League Championship was won by HC Eaton Pardubice. The man in net? 45 year old Dominik Hasek.
One of the 18,690 in attendance was Bills first round draft pick CJ Spiller.