Buffalo (15-7-2) vs. Montreal (12-13-2)
It didn’t take long before Buffalo took a commanding lead in this one. The Sabres jumped all over backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak, especially in the first period.
The Canadiens decided not to go with Carey Price, a decision that would cost them the game.
Halak gave up way too many rebounds, making it look easy for the Sabres to score. Price did need a night off, and the Sabres took advantage of it. Plus, Halak hadn’t played in over three weeks.
Six different players tallied a goal for Buffalo. Thomas Vanek had three assists on the night.
Buffalo combined for three goals in the first nine minutes of the game, taking complete control. Clarke MacArthur, Jason Pominville, and Derek Roy each scored in the first period.
Buffalo outshot Montreal 15-3 in the first, and then 14-5 in the second.
Tim Kennedy added another goal for the Sabres in the second, putting them up by four.
Gomez haunts Miller again
After injuring Ryan Miller along the boards last season, Scott Gomez returned to Buffalo, this time on a different team. Gomez scored on a 2 on 1 break, putting Montreal on the board. With the goal, Miller’s shutout streak was stopped after 148 minutes and 30 seconds.
The Habs would get another goal on Miller in the third, putting themselves within two. The fans got back into the game, and Montreal had hope. They began to put on pressure in the offensive zone. The Canadiens started to build momentum.
Less than two minutes later, Andrew Sekera scored on a shot from the point, earning his first of the season.
Kaleta vs. Mara
With the game being out of reach, a fight was bound to happen. Paul Mara and Patrick Kaleta found each other and dropped the gloves. Kaleta got a few punches in as both fell to the ice. With Kaleta on his back, both players continued to throw punches.
With less than three to go, fans began leaving their seats, but the game wasn’t over. Thomas Vanek would find Mike Grier to put the Sabres up 6-2 for good.
The Sabres improved to 10-0 when leading after two periods of play.
Miller stopped 21 of 23 shots, giving him his 16th win of the season. Buffalo regained first place in the Northeast Division with the win.
Chris Butler left the game with a sprained ankle and did not return. Captain Craig Rivet played his first game since his injury and Kaleta played well back from his two game suspension.
Lalime Down, Enroth Up
Patrick Lalime was sent down to Portland for a two game conditioning assignment. He has not played much and is coming off of an injury. With Buffalo playing 16 games in 28 days, the goaltending situation needs to be handeled well.
Enroth will serve as Miller’s backup until Lalime completes his assignment in Portland. Buffalo may stick with Miller due to the schedule. The Sabres do not play back to back games until next weekend.
Buffalo has now won four games in a row. That is the third time they have done that this season. The Sabres have yet to win five consecutive games. They will have another opportunity to do so when they host the Rangers on Saturday.