The Afterburners: Crash Landing in Buffalo

BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 8: Members of the Buffalo Sabres celebrate a goal as Ondrej Pavelec #31 of the Winnipeg Jets clears the puck from his net during their NHL game at First Niagara Center November 8, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

The Winnipeg Jets finished off their seven game road trip on a low note tonight in Buffalo as they were bested in a wild 6-5 goal-fest.

The night started off well for Winnipeg as Mark Flood and Bryan Little both cashed in on beautiful passing plays 1:06 apart to put the Sabres on their heals early.

However the Sabres responded in kind with a powerplay marker from Derek Roy to cut into the lead. It took only eleven (11!) seconds for Buffalo to score again as Corey Tropp shovelled in an Ondrej Pavelec rebound, tying the game at 2-2. Tanner Glass and Jason Pominville (SHG) exchanged goals in 2:41 as the two clubs would head to intermission locked at 3-3.

The back and forth action waned in the middle frame, large in part due to both teams combining for six penalties in the period which effected the on-ice tempo. Byran Little and Thomas Vanek would trade powerplay goals and both teams carried into the third period tied at 4-4.

Not a minute into the period, Dustin Byfuglien was sent in all alone by a heady feed from Blake Wheeler (his second of the night) giving Winnipeg their third lead of the game.

The goal would not hold up however as Derek Roy would score his second powerplay goal as Buffalo was in the midst of their third 5 on 3 man-advantage of the game, forcing overtime.

Thomas Vanek would provide the late game heroics as he redirected a Jason Pominville shot on Winnipeg’s twelfth (12!) charged penalty of the game, boosting the Sabres to a 6-5 win.

Winnipeg wraps up their road swing with a (3-2-2) record, collecting 8 of a possible 14 points away from their friendly confines.

The Jets will finally make their way back to Winnipeg for the first time in fourteen days and will take on the division rival Florida Panthers (7-4-3) before hitting the road again to take on the woeful Columbus Blue Jackets (2-11-1) on Saturday night.

Continue reading for box score information and "10 Thoughts"...


1st Period: 04:48 Winnipeg ES Goal, Mark Flood (2) (Tanner Glass, Jim Slater); 05:54 Winnipeg ES Goal, Bryan Little (1) (Blake Wheeler, Andrew Ladd); 09:05 Buffalo PP Goal, Derek Roy (3) (Tyler Myers); 09:16 Buffalo ES Goal, Corey Troupp (1) (Nathan Gerbe, Paul Gaustad); 11:25 Winnipeg ES Goal, Tanner Glass (3) (Kyle Wellwood, Johnny Oduya); 13:06 Buffalo SH Goal; Jason Pominville (6) (Paul Gaustad)

2nd Period: 01:07 Winnipeg PP Goal, Bryan Little (2) (Dustin Byfuglien, Tim Stapleton); 15:48 Buffalo PP Goal, Thomas Vanek (9) (Brad Boyes, Derek Roy)

3rd Period: 00:48 Winnipeg ES Goal, Dustin Byfuglien (2) (Blake Wheeler); Buffalo PP Goal, Derek Roy (4) (Jason Pominville, Christian Ehrhoff)

Overtime: 04:35 Buffalo PP Goal, Thomas Vanek (10) (Jason Pominville, Marc-Andre Gragnani)

Shots: Winnipeg 31, Buffalo 45

3 Stars: 1. Jason Pominville 2. Derek Roy 3. Bryan Little


10 Thoughts

  • Buffalo’s pre-game ceremony honouring Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame inductees Dale Hawerchuk and Rick Jeanneret was a special moment orchestrated by owner Terry Pegula. Listening to Jeanneret comment on his fortunes to be a part of Buffalo’s rich hockey history was touching to say the least.
  • The Wheeler-Little-Ladd line brought their A game tonight. Make that A+. The trio combined for 5 points and Little scored his first two goals of the year. Little also finished with a game high 7 shots. Winnipeg needs this production to continue in order for them to put a legitimate win streak together.
  • Congratulations to Corey Tropp on his 1st career NHL goal. The former Michigan State Spartan (Alma Mater of Ryan Miller) spent all of last season in Portland of the AHL where he produced 40 points in 76 games.
  • Tanner Glass had another solid showing as a member of Winnipeg’s third line. He finished with 1 goal, 1 assist and a fight which is considered the new era Gordie Howe hat-trick.
  • Glass and McCormick absolutely bombed out in their second period fight. I’m not a huge advocate for fighting in hockey, but these two gladiators put on a show.
  • Winnipeg gave up nineteen (19!) shots in the first period. That’s bad.
  • I am a Ryan Miller apologist, so it’s of my opinion that his teammates didn’t help him on any of Winnipeg’s goals. In the end, he did enough to earn the win. Through his career he has never recorded five losses in a row.
  • Buffalo came into tonight’s action with the leagues best penalty kill in the NHL (93.3%). Winnipeg managed to put a dent in that statistical column, going 1/5 with the extra attacker tonight.
  •  Both teams took advantage of the lively end boards at the First Niagara Centre as slap passes from Tyler Myers and Dustin Byfuglien caromed back into the slot and lead to goals for each team. Both goalies were having troubles making reads on the bouncing puck, which created quality scoring chances.
  • Both teams combined for 5 goals in the first 11:25 minutes of the game. They would go on to score 6 more over the next 53:10.
  • Dustin Byfuglien amassed 12 PIM tonight. Ed Note: 10 PIM were assessed for Misconduct during OT.
  • As noted out by SB Nation user Ubiquitous, Brad Boyes totalled 8:25 PP TOI and only 7:52 ES TOI which is mind-boggling.
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