Buffalo Sabres face more misery after 4-1 loss to Winnipeg Jets - NHL Update
The Battle of the Eastern Conference’s basement teams was won by Winnipeg Jets as they beat a poor Buffalo Sabres' side, 4-1, via a clinical display in the final two periods of the game at the MTS Centre on Thursday, January 19th, 2012.
Sabres and Jets, both entered the encounter with their own woeful storylines.
Jets had won just two of their previous six games before this game, including a 5-1 pounding at the hands of New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, January 17th 2012.
Jets' poor form saw them in the wrong half of the Eastern Conference with a 21-20-5 record.
The win over Sabres however, improves Jets' record to 22-20-5 and 49 points, just three points separating them from Florida Panthers and the final playoff spot.
Jets' coach, Claude Noel was happy with his team’s victory but saw some mistakes in defence that he will work on in practice, as he told reporters
"We missed some D-zone assignments ... and our goaltender helped us out. I think we were a little bit fortunate," he said. "We've got some work to do here."
Sabres' position, however, deteriorated even further from their already poor position.
Buffalo entered the game on the back of a three game losing streak and, having won just two of their previous eight games, looked completely out of confidence during the game.
Sabres' fourth straight loss puts their record to 19-23-5 and just 43 points.
Winnipeg looked more comfortable from the start and with the home crowd behind them started off with a bang out shooting the Sabres 19-10 in the first period.
The Jets took the lead at 11:34 in the first period as Andrew Ladd scored his 16th goal of the season beating Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller as Ron Hainsey picked up the assist.
The Sabres were on the back foot throughout but managed to equalise early in the second period. Drew Stafford against the run of play put the Sabres back in contention for the game at 4:17.
The Jets though did not break stride and continued to attack finally regaining the advantage with a power play goal at 12:55. Tobias Enstrom broke the Jets power play draught with a well taken goal to make the score 2-1.
Winnipeg then went for the jugular and finished off their opponents with two third period goals and sealed the game. The Jets scored their third on another power play as Tim Stapleton did the honours beating Ryan Miller to make it 3-1.
Sabres Coach Lindy Ruff was not impressed with his team’s efforts on the power play saying
"You've got to win that battle," Ruff said. "We had a tough time getting shots through. They got theirs."
Nik Antropov scored his sixth goal of the season and Winnipeg’s fourth to seal the win at 18:40 and the Jets will take heart from their return to winning ways.
Jets will face the Florida Panthers at home on Saturday while the Sabres will face a much tougher assignment against the St. Louis Blues.