Following the Sabres 6-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night, explanations were hard to come by in the Buffalo locker room.
The Sabres surrendered a 3-1 lead and allowed five unanswered goals in the third period as the Senators won the first game of a home-and-home series.
“It’s just about the timing. We’ve had some bad losses but it’s not from lack of trying,” netminder Ryan Miller
said. “I’m not going to get too worked up.”
Instead, Miller wants to see his team ‘get ugly.’
“We like to play offense.. and when we get home we want to entertain,” he said. “We’ve got to just be ugly... Sometimes you’ve just got to dump it in and sit back.”
Taking risks got the Sabres into trouble in the third period. Head coach Lindy Ruff cited Jason Pominville
for taking a ‘little bit of a bad gamble’ and getting beat by Antoine Vermette, resulting in Ottawa’s second goal of the night.
“[Pominville] was in good position, I don’t think he anticipated their D coming in as hard as he did… and we gave up an odd-numbered situation,” Ruff said of the play.
“Especially against a team like Ottawa, they are going to capitalize on their chances or at least get good scoring opportunities and they are looking for the slot,” Miller said. “[Daniel] Alfredsson got a few really good looks there and [Danny] Heatley and [Jason] Spezza make it hard to challenge when they are always trying to find open ice.”
In order be successful in Ottawa on Thursday according to Miller, the Sabres need to keep it simple.
“Maybe we didn’t even need the third goal to be honest. Maybe it would have been better if it was 2-1 and we just [had to] grind it out. But we got that third goal, made a mistake and all of a sudden it was ours to lose.
“Now we have to run the table. We know we can hang with these guys, we can play with them, so we’ll go right back at it. It’s definitely going to be difficult but there were so many points in the game where we proved we can play with a top team and we just have to be smart.”
After reaching, and surpassing, the 30-goal plateau, Sabres centerman Derek Roy
left the ice late in the third period with a “charlie horse” according to Ruff.
With 4:52 remaining in the game, Roy took a hit along the board from Senators’ defenseman Andrej Meszaros.
“It was good that he came back and got a shift in, which is encouraging. We’ll see how that is tomorrow.”
Roy scored two goals on the night, giving him a total of 31 scores this season- a career-high. He is second on the team in scoring with 72 points on the year behind only captain Jason Pominville