Thursday, April 12, 2007
GAME 1: Sabres 4, Islanders 1
My cool downtown sports day comes to an end, 14 1/2 hours after I left my house this morning...
Tonight at HSBC Arena the Buffalo Sabres dispatched the New York Islanders 4-1 to take game one of the best of seven series.
Buffalo threw wave after wave of attacks early on, while limiting New York's chances and allowing only one shot on goal in the first period. Brian Campbell and Chris Drury each netted a pair for Buffalo. New York's only goal came on a breakdown by Derek Roy, who really should have left the ice for a shift change.
Who's hot? Dainius frikkin' Zubrus played like a house on fire tonight, making smart plays, setting up scoring chances and generally looking like the quality forward that Buffalo was hoping to get. "He's just so happy to be back in the playoffs after a long absence" said Coach Lindy Ruff.
Who's not? New York's Miroslav Satan. You think he'd be chomping at the bit to have his top game going... Buffalo, Lindy, Darcy... instead he was a pile of puss out there.
Dubie! Dubie! Gotta tip the hat to Isles goalie Wade Dubielewicz, who faced 35 shots and did an adequate job, but this is not a Stanley Cup goaltender, not by a longshot.
The bombshell was dropped at the postgame press conferences - Goalie Rick DiPietro has been medically cleared to play and Coach Ted Nolan said he would be inserted in practice on Friday, and a decision will be made then on whether he is fit to start in game 2.
Lastly, the fans had their "A" game on big time - raising the roof with noise, waving yellow pom poms, and the traditional old "Ooh Ahh Sabres on the Warpath" chant got going late. The Sabres pregame montage, done to the song "Better Days" by the Goo Goo Dolls, had me choked up and I'm sure I was not the only one. And by the way - I did not spot a single Islanders fan in the stands. Oh how nice to own our building!
Game 2 goes Saturday at 7:30 PM... Pete will be covering, I'll be in the stands and assisting him with post game... and hopefully our after the game outing over beer and wings will be a festive one!