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Ott, Sabres steal a win in Montreal

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The line changes put forth by Ron Rolston tonight in Montreal gave Steve Ott a chance to add some points to his already established ‘verbal effectiveness’ with the Sabres. His pair of goals led the Sabres to a 3-2 overtime victory in Montreal on Tuesday night. Ott opened the scoring on the top line by blasting a slapshot past Carey Price at 7:47 of the first after captain Jason Pominville got tangled up with David Desharnais, who coughed up the giveaway.

The entire team did a good job of not losing the puck once in the offensive zone, choosing to chip it forward instead of giving it up. This was displayed late in the first when Vanek, Ennis, and Leino sent the puck deep rather than dangling through the Montreal defense.  Driving the play below the goal line opened up Tyler Myers at the point, who promptly sent a pass from Leino towards the net with both Ennis and Vanek in front for the tip. Ennis ended up getting his stick on the shot, putting it past Price.

The second period started off like it might continue to be the downfall period for the Sabres when they took two defensive penalties early on. They were able to stay poised and Enroth stopped the only two powerplay shots against.

Though showing some promising puck control early, Buffalo was not able to find the back of the net on both of their second period powerplay opportunities either.  Vanek, in his usual PP spot in front of the net, took a hard shot from Erhoff to the hip area and struggled to get off the ice. He did not return.

Near the end of the second period, Alexei Emelin gave Marcus Foligno a late shove after an offsides call, which prompted Foligno to drop the gloves and land some solid punches in before dropping him to the ice.

Despite being severely outshot 11-2, the Sabres got out of the second without allowing any goals against.

The third period saw the Canadiens start to surge. About midway through the period, Gallagher worked hard down low, spinning off two Sabres and finding Pacioretty open in front who was able to bury a goal past Enroth.

With less than four minutes remaining in the third, Alex Galchenyuk found Colby Armstrong standing all alone in front of Enroth, who was easily able to go to his backhand and get the tying goal, sending the game into overtime.

On Buffalo’s fourth powerplay, Tyler Myers used his big size to screen Price on a shot from Leopold, leading to a juicy rebound that Steve Ott was able to cash in on and score the game-winner. Ville Leino grabbed his 100th career NHL point on the play by getting his second assist of the game.

Jhonas Enroth improved his record vs. Montreal to 3-0-0 after his stellar performance tonight, having a .941 save percentage and stopping 30 of 32 shots. After the game, coach Ron Rolston commended Enroth on his great play this season and especially tonight.  He brought up Enroth’s amazing save in the dying seconds of the third that kept the Sabres alive.

The 3-2 win leaves the Sabres with an 11-15-4 record on the season. They move past the Capitals and are 13th in the East, six points behind the 8th place Rangers.

The Sabres return home to take on the Leafs Thursday night which will be broadcast on MSG at 7 PM.

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NHL Standings

DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
A4631-12-365
A4527-10-862
A4826-17-557
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
M4728-15-460
M4524-13-856
M4726-18-355
Wild Card leaders:
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M4925-21-353
-----------------------------------------
M4622-16-852
M4824-20-452
M4621-17-850
A4519-20-644
A4719-22-644
A4518-20-743
A4415-20-939
A4611-26-931
DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
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C4828-13-763
C4528-11-662
C4928-18-359
Pacific Division Leaders:
P4631-11-466
P4626-14-658
P4625-16-555
Wild Card leaders:
C4827-17-458
C4526-16-355
-----------------------------------------
C4725-17-555
P4624-17-553
P4822-17-953
C4622-18-650
P4721-23-343
P4718-23-642
P4811-28-929