Buffalo (19-9-2) vs. Montreal (15-15-3)
The Sabres have not played well in the Bell Centre. Ryan Miller has not won there in four starts. Buffalo disregarded those stats and came in and beat the Canadiens.
The game resembled a style similar to the Sabres’ 2006-2007 season. It was an offensive game, even with the league’s best goaltender in the net.
Montreal got on the board first with Andrei Kostitsyn’s seventh of the season.
That’s was it for the first period. Both teams had nine shots, but Montreal had the 1-0 lead.
As soon as the puck was dropped in the second period, Adam Mair and Ryan O’Byrne dropped the gloves.
Midway through the second, Buffalo got on the board with Andrej Sekera’s second goal of the season. Montreal would not see a lead for the rest of the game.
Patrick Kaleta has been playing very well this season and contributed again on Monday night against Montreal. He had another shorthanded goal to give Buffalo a 2-1 lead. He came down on a 2 on 1 with Connolly, received the pass, went to the backhand, and beat Jaroslav Halak.
Kostitsyn scored again in the third, and again on the powerplay. Game tied up at two.
Buffalo native Tim Kennedy would score off of a rebound to put Buffalo on top 3-2. The scoring was not done. Montreal refused to give up against the Sabres squad. Michael Cammalleri notched his 18th of the season, tying the game at three. His goal came only 18 seconds after Kennedy scored.
Towards the end of the third, Buffalo had a huge opportunity to score. The Sabres were granted a 5 on 3 for over a minute, and they would capitalize. Clarke MacAthrur tipped it on past Halak to give the Sabres a lead for the third time in the game.
With two minutes remaining, Toni Lydman took a penalty, giving the Habs one final chance to tie the game. They pulled Halak and had a 6 on 4 for the final two minutes. After a few mad scrambles and Miller’s saves, the Sabres held on for the victory.
Buffalo has now won four in a row, which is the fourth time they have done that this season. The Sabres will play in Ottawa on Wednesday as they go for their season high fifth straight win. Buffalo will close out their three game road trip as well. Buffalo has won the first two of three.
MacArthur now leads the team with ten goals on the season. The Sabres earned their 20th win of the season, and are now only four points behind Washington, the best team in the league. Buffalo does play Washington next Wednesday, and that game could be a battle for first if the Sabres can catch the Capitals by then.