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LGS Report Card
Miller helps Sabres earn a 'B' against Boston

BUFFALO (LGS) — As they did on Saturday night, the Buffalo Sabres fell behind by two goals before clawing their way back against the Boston Bruins to force a shootout. But unlike Saturday night in Atlanta, the Sabres came out on top this time thanks to the all-star performance of Ryan Miller.

Thomas Vanek | Derek Roy | Drew Stafford
For the first time this season Thomas Vanek was held without a point, but he came through when it mattered most in the shootout. Derek Roy continues to play with swagger, but he couldn’t finish his chances yet again tonight. Drew Stafford finally looked like the Stafford we all know and love. His goal was a thing of beauty, and it couldn't have come at a better time. Overall, this line had a great game despite a slow start in the first period. Grade: B+

Daniel Paille | Clarke MacArthur | Jason Pominville
Jason Pominville just doesn't seem like the player we saw last season. He was soft on the puck yet again tonight. Clarke MacArthur got the Sabres on the board tonight with his second power-play goal of the season while Daniel Paille put in another blue-collar game. Paille's proving to be a very difficult player to play against. Grade: B

Maxim Afinogenov | Adam Mair | Ales Kotalik
Ales Kotalik and Adam Mair did not impress me at all against the Bruins. They seemed to have a tough time containing the Bruins during the first half of the game. Maxim Afinogenov, on the other hand, was flying up and down the ice and definitely had one of his better games of the season. The goals still haven’t come from Max, but the turnovers that plagued him last season appear to be a thing of the past. Grade: B-

Andrew Peters | Matt Ellis | Patrick Kaleta
Andrew Peters and Patrick Kaleta were rather inactive tonight, which was also the case Saturday night in Atlanta. Matt Ellis looked calm and comfortable on the ice tonight. Lindy Ruff continues to use the journeyman forward on the penalty kill. Ellis, however, couldn’t win a faceoff tonight if his life had depended on it. Grade: C-

Henrik Tallinder | Craig Rivet
Without a doubt, Henrik Tallinder had his best game of the season and dare I say best game in over two seasons. Hank was solid with the puck and even better defending inside the Sabres' zone. Craig Rivet also had one of his better games in his short Sabres career and was a machine tonight breaking up odd-man rushes by the Bruins. Grade: A

Jaroslav Spacek | Andrej Sekera
Andrej Sekera loves making great plays that are results of his non-so-great plays. The youngster committed a few too many "rookie" mistakes tonight but, as we've seen a few times this season, he gets back in time to save himself. Jaroslav Spacek had a phenomenal game tonight and was huge in killing off a penalty during the dying seconds of overtime. Grade: B

Toni Lydman | Teppo Numminen
The Sabres definitely came out slow, but Teppo and Toni had a terrible time trying to contain the Bruins during the early part of the game. It was another one of those so-so games for Numminen. He hesitated a few times tonight allowing the Boston forecheckers to force him into a bad situation. Toni Lydman didn't have a blocked shot tonight!? Grade: B

Ryan Miller
The Bruins needed two perfectly shot pucks to beat Ryan Miller tonight. The star netminder continues to be a force in net. He made two huge saves, one with his glove during the third period and one with his paddle late in overtime. Miller also found his swagger in the shootouts. Grade: A

Power Play
Down 2-0, the Sabres' power play brought the team and HSBC Arena back to life when MacArthur tipped Rivet's shot past Manny Fernandez. The Sabres had no issues setting the puck up tonight, and they managed to move it well during the man advantage. The issue tonight was finding the shooting lanes as the Bruins did a good job of getting in front of a lot of shots from the point. Grade: B

Penalty Killing
While the impressive penalty killing streak came to an end with 26 straight kills, the Sabres continued to play tremendously while down a man. Boston's power-play goal came on an odd-man rush after the Sabres were trying to create a shorthanded scoring chance of their own. Roy and Spacek were key in not allowing Boston a chance to score on their short, but dangerous, overtime power-play opportunity. Grade: B+

Coaching
It was rather disappointing to see how the Sabres came out against a team that played last night in Pittsburgh. Buffalo didn't seem ready for this game, but they kept it cool and calm even after falling behind by two goals. Ruff stuck with Stafford on the top line, and it paid off. Grade: B

OVERALL GRADE — B


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By Paul Szeglowski, LGS Site Manager
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