Breaking Bad Hab-Its: Buffalo Beats Montreal in Shootout


Excuse me, Dr. Frankenstein?

Could you make a trip to HSBC Arena and screw the heads back on every Buffalo Sabre except Ryan Miller?

Right from Andrei Kostitsyn’s goal at 19:19 of the first period, this game looked to be over.

The Montreal Canadiens, in a brutal dog-fight to stay in the playoff picture, came in to HSBC Arena like a pack of hungry wolves.

Buffalo looked like a fat-and-happy grandfather after a Thanksgiving feast.

The Sabres seemed slow and lethargic—not the team that won three in a row on the road. Passes overshot their targets and shots rang wide. To add to the list of woes, Buffalo took four penalties in a row, starting with Derek Roy going to the box for hooking. Montreal enjoyed almost eight minutes of the man advantage in the second period, outshooting Buffalo 8-1 in that span.

Buffalo’s defensemen were caught time and time again rushing into the offensive zone—only to give up the puck and have the Habs break out on numerous 2-on-1’s.

Unfortunately for the Canadiens, Buffalo has the best goaltender in the world protecting the net—Vezina Trophy favorite Ryan Miller.

Miller shut the door with a bang – two brilliant back-to-back saves in the second frame and robbing Brian Gionta on a shorthanded breakaway.

For 58 minutes, Montreal owned the ice. They kept the hometown crowd quiet and frustrated the Sabres with crisp passing and neat plays.

But that was for 58 minutes.

On the power play and with Miller on the bench, Buffalo came roaring back. Tim Connolly ripped a slap shot that put the Sabres on the board with just under two minutes to play.

Then, reminiscent of the 2006-07 season, Buffalo continued the onslaught in the waning moments. Center Paul Guastad fired a wrist shot that beat Price at 19:12 of the third period, sending the game into overtime.

Jason Pominville ripped a shot off the crossbar in the extra frame, but to no avail.

Pominville and Thomas Vanek each lit the lamp in the shootout, scoring on shots accurate enough to make even Buffalo Bill jealous. Miller shut the door on Kostitsyn and Mike Cammalleri to seal the win.

The Sabres should not have won this game—but they played with a resilience that showed that this could be the season Buffalo could boast its first ever Stanley Cup.


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