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Live from the Arena: Sabres vs. Thrashers

Fourteen games to go, seven at home and seven on the road. The Thrashers are in town tonight with Patrick Lalime and Kari Lehtonen in goal. A well-deserved night off for Mr. Vogl so I'm flying solo tonight. With multiple duties for the paper, updates may not be as deep as usual so your patience is appreciated. Onward.

---Mike Harrington


Go crazy, folks. Let it all out. While I was attempting to construct some prose on a tight Saturday deadline to discuss a key win, you all saw what happened. And it just can't happen. And even when Pominville's pathetic clear is intercepted and the Thrashers tie the game with 3.5 seconds left (remember the Islanders game in late December?), the Sabres had a chance in the shootout. But 0 for 4.

Worst loss of the season? Has to be. Reminds me of the Flyers game last year. Maybe the March one to the Habs too.

Crazy. Florida and Carolina lose shootouts too so a chance to gain ground is lost.

Third Period

16:14 left: Sabres dominating with all five shots on goal in the period. But Kaleta takes a bad interference penalty on his way to the bench.

13:55 left: Great work by Moore and Hecht kill the penalty with no incident.

13:18 left: The Sabres' penalty parade continues. Rivet off for high sticking. That's six penalties to two.

6:54 left: Say this for the Thrash. The penalties they've taken have been ridiculous. Valabik off for  mugging Afinogenov.

6:34 left: Uh-oh. A 2-on-1 produces a short-handed goal by Marty Reasoner on a rebound that makes it 3-2. Inexcuseable.

5:00 left: Vanek robbed on breakaway. Power play is over.

Second Period

15:16 left: Sabres kill off another one, a dubious high stick on Connolly who was bracing for a hit from Jim Slater.

12:58 left: The Sabres are still asleep. Lalime stops Bryan Little on the doorstep after a brutal giveaway behind the net by Tallinder.

9:53 left: Nice stop by Lehtonen on Spacek from in front. Shots are 6-5 for Buffalo in the second.

6:41 left: Finally, something happens. Roy beats Hainsey in the corner and feathers a beautiful backhand pass in front. Paille outworks Marty Reasoner in front and taps it home to make it 1-1.

6:07 left: Now things are happening. Lo and behold, an Atlanta penalty. Kozlov goes for high sticking, the Thrashers' first of the night.

3:29 left: Roy has found his legs, making it 2-1 with a 50-footer that might have hit Boris Valabik in front. He had skated the puck all the way from behind the net, lost it and stole it right back before ripping it home. Nothing was happening in this game until the Sabres' No. 1 center started acting like it.

1:36 left: Vanek does the dirty work on a third goal, stealing the puck in the corner and putting it in front to set up Afinogenov for his fourth. Suddenly, it's 3-1.

End of the 2nd: This baby changed in a hurry. Shots are 21-17 for Buffalo (11-7 in the second but Atlanta had just one in the final 11 minutes).

First Period

13:09 left: Shots are 3-3 as Afinogenov goes off on a ticky-tack holding call. Roy had the Sabres' best chance after great passes from Rivet, Vanek and Stafford but Lehtonen was up to the task.

The lines are the same as Thursday: Hecht-Connolly-Pominville, Vanek-Roy-Stafford, Mair-Moore-Afinogenov, Paille-Gaustad-Kaleta. Defense pairs also the same: Rivet-Butler, Spacek-Sekera, Lydman-Tallinder.

11:00 left: Sabres survive the penalty as Lalime's lone save was on an unscreened point shot by Ron Hainsey. A few seconds after Afinogenov went off, Moore was robbed by Lehtonen from right in front on a backhand after a perfect backhand feed from Connolly. Short-handed goal would have been quite the way to get his first one as a Sabre.

7:50 left: Shots are 6-6 with not much happening. Butler just outhustled a Thrasher to get an icing. The kind of steady play we see all the time from the rookie D-man. Read more about him in Sunday's Sabres Notebook (there's your cheap plug of the night).

6:50 left: Lydman off for interference.

4:40 left: Another penalty killed without much trouble. A point shot from Zach Bogosian was the only shot.

1:14 left: Moore goes off for tripping in the offensive zone. Sabres' third penalty of the period. Thrashers are last in the league in penalty killing but B uffalo hasn't been able to get an advantage of their own thus far.

25.4 left: Bound to happen. Slava Kozlov bangs home a Bogosian rebound to make it 1-0 for Atlanta.

End of the first: Shots are 10-10 in a period that had October intensity. Sabres have to be better than that. No energy.


Sabres game day
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |