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Boyes scores, Sabres beat Rangers

Brad Boyes made his Buffalo Sabres debut tonight wearing number 22. He jumped right in and was given almost 15 minutes of ice time and scored a goal on the power play in the second period.

The goal was set up nicely by Paul Gaustad, but Boyes was in the right place at the right time and was rewarded. I didn't see him handling the puck a lot, but he did have a couple hits and looked good skating on a line with Connolly and Ennis, so hopefully he will continue to contribute.

Overall the Sabres looked good, they got into trouble in their own zone a few times by letting Rangers players swarm unguarded to the net. I did see a few forwards making good defensive plays though (Grier and Connoly had diving blocked shots).

Miller was again great in net. On one save he used his glove hand to swipe the puck away from behind him right before it crossed the blue line. There's no way he could see that puck, it seems like he has supernatural instincts sometimes.

Aside from Derek Roy, it looks like the Sabres' entire active roster is healthy (Leopold missed last game with something minor). I don't want to jinx it, but this is great for so late in the season. It will be interesting to see who Ruff decides to play from night to night and what the lines will be.

Right now, there is an odd man out at forward and defense, not to mention a few guys in Portland who could come up and contribute. Gerbe was the healthy scratch against New York, but I wouldn't mind seeing Niedermayer ride the bench for a while. In 51 games this year he has 13 assists and zero goals. He is way past his prime and should be benched in favor of a younger more energetic guy like Gerbe. I would even be OK with calling up Paul Byron to play center on the fourth line.

Defense is a tough decision, it looks like Butler is the odd man out, but Weber may also see some bench time. Sekera was recently benched for two games and has responded with a goal and three assists in two games since, so he will stay in the lineup if keeps playing like that.


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