Yes, my friends, we did!
After it seemed impossible to do up until Derek's winning shot in March of last season, we finally managed to pull our season shootout record to 1-0!! Haha, we'll see how long we can manage to keep that record in the positive.
TIM CONNOLLY HAS A HAIRLINE FRACTURE IN A VERTEBRA. According to Lindy, it's a short-term thing, and it can't get any worse. "He'll be a question-mark for about a week." I guess it's just another nagging injury for Timmy. Didn't take long, huh?
My Stars (These will always be Sabres players. I have to be a homer.):
1st Star : Daniel Paille
He was intense. Two major hits that resulted in (1) a stupid penalty on Montreal's part, and (2) a decent rush into Montreal's zone. Not only that, but he had a great scoring chance on a short-handed 2-on-1 push with Roy, and he was a presence all game long. Major props to him; the summer obviously did him well. Ruff just said he wouldn't disagree with the idea that Danny was the best forward this evening. "He put their defense in some bad situations every time he was on the ice."
2nd Star : Ryan Miller
Solid goaltending throughout the game, and he came up big when we needed him in the shootout. Ryan kept us in it when we needed him to, and we have the 2 points thanks, in large part, to him.
3rd Star : Thomas Vanek
I have to throw it to him for getting our goal and tying it up quickly. Tommy had some good chances throughout the night, as well, and the now 7-million-dollar-man looks like he's picking up where he left off last season.
Montreal's Star : Cary Price
He gave Montreal all of the support that he could, and they let him down. His only flaw was the shootout; work on your response to the deke, Cary, and you'll be okay (just forget everything you work on every time you play us). I can't even hold Tommy's goal against Cary, because that was just a great play on TV's part; very smart.
Plays of the Game
Vanek's goal to tie it up at 7:40 of the 1st, not 5 minutes after MTL took the lead, kept the Sabres in the game. This was key to the momentum of the Sabres, as well as keeping the pace and attitude.
Toni Lydman's save as the puck almost trickled over the goal line obviously kept the Sabres in it, as well.
Ales Kotalik and Drew Stafford both deking left and putting it top shelf to win the shootout, and Miller's saves to allow it. Enough said.
Team Stats for the Game
Power Play : 0-6, 0%
Penalty Kill : 5-5, 100%
Shots For : 36
Shots Against : 28
Team Stats to Date
Record : 1-0-0
Goals : Vanek (1)
Assists : Lydman, Numminen (1)
Points : See above
PIM : Numminen (4)
PK/PP : See above
Miller's GAA : 1.00
Miller's Save Percentage : .964 (27/28)
Awesome Quotes from the Game
"They eat them alive." - Mike Robitaille, on the Sabres' attack.
"Paille did everything except pull a groin." - Rick Jeanneret, on Danny's unsuccessful attempt to stay onside.
"We made many cute plays last year. We want less of that... Reggie play great..." - Jaroslav Spacek, on the team and Andrej Sekera.
"The guys bought into The System..." - Jason Pominville (can he honestly not go one game without mentioning that thing?).
I'll post more interesting stuff tomorrow. I feel like this is all I can do tonight; I'm pretty tired from all the texting I had to do during the game: Kim is camping, so she needed updates, my friend Andy is in New York City, so he needed updates, and my mom is working, so she, too, needed updates. I'm such a nice person to use probably 200 text messages in 3 hours. Good thing I have unlimited. So, hey! If you need updates, let me know! I'll add you to the list! I think I may do liveblogging of the games from now on... That might be easier to make comments... I'll give it a go on Monday, I suppose.
Great game, boys!