By Mike Harrington
The Sabres have decided to take today off and will fly to Ottawa this afternoon to get set to meet the Senators Thursday night in the back half of the teams' home-and-home series. Both teams could use the rest after Buffalo's 2-1 victory Tuesday night, a game that was decided in a 10-round shootout.
You can click above to see the video of the complete shootout. The Sabres won it, 4-3, and Ottawa twice scored goals to keep it alive. The 10 rounds were the most the Sabres have ever gone to win one, while the franchise record is 11 rounds, set in a 4-3 loss to Colorado in 2010. The teams combined for seven goals in that shootout as well, with the Avalanche getting four off Buffalo backup Patrick Lalime. (The NHL record is 15 rounds, set in a Rangers-Washington game in 2005).
The Sabres are an NHL-best 4-0 in shootouts this year -- which means, of course, they're 3-22-2 in all games not decided by the penalty-shot contest. Buffalo shooters are 10-19 (52.6 percent, third in the NHL), which is pretty crazy when you consider the team's path to an NHL record-low goal total. Matt Moulson is 3 for 3 for the Sabres while Tyler Ennis is the only other shooter with two goals.
Ryan Miller has been in goal for all the shootouts and has gone 14 of 19 in saves. His .737 percentage is fourth among goalies facing at least 10 attempts. Last night's win allowed Miller to again snap a tie with the Rangers' Henrik Lundvqist for most career shootout wins by a goalie. Miller is 46-27 (including 24-13 at home), while Lundqvist is 45-30.
NHL GMs would like to cut down the number of shootouts, especially since they can produce some odd twists in the standings:
---San Jose, for instance, is tied for third in the West but has home shootout losses to the Sabres and New York Islanders (last night), who are the bottom two teams in the East. The Sharks are 3-5 overall, tied for the most shootout losses in the NHL.
---Detroit and New Jersey are both 0-5, including the Red Wings' loss last night at Florida, and Ottawa dropped to 1-5 after going to a shootout for the third straight game. Detroit shooters are just 2 for 15 this season while New Jersey is a ghastly 1 of 17 and openly talking about its shootout troubles after going just 2-7 in them last season.
---Washington is 7-2, including last night's comeback win over Tampa Bay, and the extra points are clearly giving the Capitals second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers, for instance, have not had a single shootout this season.
Click above for the full Sabres-Senators shootout from NHL.com
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