The techno gremlins have us tonight. First the live chat struggled and now, frankly, the entire first period blog vaporized on me to parts unknown. Never happened in three years of doing this. No idea what the deal is.
So apologies that those posts -- and your comments -- apparently are gone.
First period recap: The Sabres go to the break up 2-0 and with a 12-5 edge in shots. Mair at 1:54 from Gerbe and McCormick and Pominville from Roy and Ennis at 18:54.
Hopefully the rest of the night will go better on this end. We'll see.
Of note: The stat sheet is heavily in Buffalo's favor. Shots are 27-13. Hits are 27-12. Blocked shots are 19-6. (Although still an ugly giveaway total of 11-5). JVogl points out this is the first three-goal lead for either team at any point in the series. The Sabres have been outscored, 7-0, in the third period and overtime of this series. They have a 7-1 edge in the first period and a 4-3 edge in the second.
14:41 left: Some early hiccups survived by Buffalo. Shots are 3-3 in the period. Sabres in killing-the-clock mode to get this thing back to Boston.
11:12 left: Miller makes saves on Sobotka and Hunwick to keep the shutout intact and Grier then takes another shot on the head, a cut on the left ear. And he gets a roaring ovation as he returns to the bench and heads to the dressing room.
9:00 left: Miller nearly loses the shutout by fanning on the puck in the crease after he gloved it, with Begin just a stick length away. Miller is not the greatest puckhandler among goalies, that's for sure.
5:00 left: Miller makes the save on Paille to keep the shutout intact. Bruins have a 16-6 edge in the third period.
4:09 left: Roy for slashing.
2:30 left: Boychuk ends the shutout with a PP goal past Miller's glove on Boston's 18th shot of the period. 3-1, Buffalo.
1:43 left: Ennis with a diving sweep into the empty net. Great play. Buffalo's first third-period goal of the series. Kid gets his first playoff goal and is leading the team in scoring in the playoffs. Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" pumps through the building and the place is roaring. Buffalo, 4-1.
1:24 left: And now "Sweet Caroline" is pumping. Little shot at Boston there too?
33.9 left: Myers and Ryder off to the dressing room for roughing.
0.2 left: BIG scrum as Gaustad and Chara get started with McCormick and MILLER grabgs Satan. Good thing Rask was out or he certainly would have been involved too.
IT'S OVER; Back to Boston after a 4-1 victory. Shots were 20-7 for the Bruins in thie third. Too little, too late. 34-33 for Boston for the game. Game Six is MONDAY night.
8:03 p.m.: The puck is dropped.
17:40 left: Bruins woke up again. No shots yet but plenty of pressure in the Buffalo zone.
15:30 left: No shots yet in the period for either side.
15:14 left: Miller stops Paille on the first shot of the period.
14:50 left: Gaustad goes for hooking Bergeron. Ticky-tack call at best. Lindy not happy.
13:09 left: Four shots already and great zone time for the Bruins. That's how a PP works. Buffalo could have cleared but Connolly fired the puck into the bench.
12:51 left: The puck never left the zone but the PP ends as Sturm goes for high sticking. Sabres have no shots in this period.
12:46 left: Connolly off the post behind a beaten Rask on a rebound. This PP is snakebit.
10:50 left: Ennis off the post. 0 for 17 but easily the best PP of the series.
10:38 left: Another post but finally a reward for the Sabres as Grier fires one home right off the faceoff from Gaustad. 3-0, Buffalo. The Sabres -- finally -- get that third goal to give them breathing room.
9:52 left: A standing O from the crowd.
9:07 left: Rivet goes for roughing.
4:20 left: Sabres have an 11-8 edge in shots in this period and are in control. It's 25-13 overall.. Buffalo well on its way back to Beantown for Game Six, which would be on Monday remember. Not Sunday.
2:12 left: Rask stones Ennis from directly in front.
End-2nd: A 3-0 lead. 15-8 advantage in shots (27-14 overall). And it was 15-4 over the last 13 minutes. The dominant answer everyone in the building wondered if they'd see.
AND WE HAVE A WINNER FOR BLOGGER OF THE NIGHT -- AS SCOTT JORDAN PROVIDES A SCREEN GRAB OF THE FIRST PERIOD POSTS!!!!
Starters -- Buffalo: Connolly-Gaustad-Grier-Myers-Tallinder; Boston: Paille-Bergeron-Recchi-Wideman-Hunwick.
7;10: The puck is dropped -- only after Gaustad is tossed from the circle after pushing Bergeron. Interesting.
18:59 left: Miller stops David Krejci on a breakaway. That would have been interesting to start behind after a minute. Lydman wiped out Krejci but a little late.
18:06 left: But it's the Sabres who get the quick start -- AGAIN -- as Adam Mair scores from behind the net off Rask's leg after Gerbe tipped the puck to him. 1-0, Buffalo and the "Tuuuu-ka" chants are out. Five games, five first goals. Crazy. Mair from Gerbe and McCormick. Who had that as a Sabres playoff goal at anytime in the last six months?
14:31 left: Another great shift from the Mair line. Rask stopped Mair and Rivet.
14:01 left: Kaleta with a great sliding block on a shot from Chara, who has gotten rid of his full facemask for this one.
12:09 left: Near-miss from in front as tiny Ennis takes out big Chara but Roy's pass to an open Pominville just fails to connect.
10:49 left: Thornton goes for elbowing Kaleta in the face as No. 36 was coming towards him for the check. The first PP unit is Connolly-Gaustad-Roy-Pominville-Lydman.
8:47 left: Mark it as 0 for 15. Not much possession. Too many passes (Roy especially passed up a shot). Terrible. Lots of boos. And just as it ends, Paille outworks Myers and hits the post to Miller's left.
8:37 left: And now Myers goes for slashing. Yet another example of the PP killing Buffalo's momentum.
6:32 left: Sabres kill it off with great work from Lydman. JVogl with a good point here: There are definitely empty seats on the 100 level tonight. You can see pairs and fours empty. Either season ticket-holders have given up the ghost or the scalpers found no market for this one.
4:35 left: Sturm misses an open net on a great Krejci feed after yet another Buffalo turnover at the Boston line. This one was (again) by Connolly and it was grievous. Connolly and Roy have been brutal in this game so far (again).