The Buffalo Sabres went into Montreal tonight looking for a change of pace against the division-rival Canadiens.
For the past few days, many Sabres have been under fire for their lack of response to the now infamous hit on goaltender Ryan Miller. A win tonight would begin to turn those doubters away.
With Jhonas Enroth in goal, the Sabres came out very strong in the first period. Throughout this period, play was quite even for both Buffalo and Montreal. Both sides had only one penalty a piece and the Canadiens only had four more shots than the Sabres.
After one period, the game was scoreless.
Heading into the second period, the Sabres looked to build of their impressive first period but that hope was crushed quick.
3:58 into the second period, Erik Cole scored his fourth goal of the season, on the power play, and the Canadiens took a 1-0 lead.
Eleven minutes later, at 14:17 into the second period, the Canadiens would take a 2-0 lead on Max Pacioretty’s eighth goal of the season.
Heading into the third period, the Sabres chances of winning looked very slim. Not only did the Canadiens boast a 5-0-0 record when leading after two periods this season, but the Sabres had not been playing very effectively through the last 20 minutes.
With the third period beginning, it seemed as if the Canadiens had this game in the win column. The Sabres would not go down without a fight. 53 seconds into the third period, Jason Pominville cut the Canadiens lead in half with his 7th goal of the season.
The Sabres quickly got their energy back it seemed and less than twelve minutes later, we had ourselves a hockey game.
12:30 into the final period, Derek Roy tied the game with his 6th goal of the season.
There was not enough time for this game to be decided in regulation, so it headed to overtime.
The Sabres headed to the power play 19 seconds into overtime. They had a handful of opportunities but were unable to score.
Thirty seconds after the Sabres man advantage expired, the Canadiens went on the power play after Thomas Vanek was called for tripping.
The Buffalo Sabres penalty kill was impressive, as it has been all season, and this electric game was headed to a shootout.
Tomas Plekanec was the first shooter for Montreal but he was quickly stopped by Jhonas Enroth.
Thomas Vanek got the call for the Sabres and he was successful on his attempt. At this point, the Sabres led the shootout, 1-0.
Max Pacioretty was the Canadiens second shooter. He was successful in his shootout attempt, and the shootout was tied at 1-1.
Brad Boyes, who did not play much in the third period, was the second shooter for the Sabres. He was successful with a nifty goal and the Sabres led, 2-1.
Canadiens captain Brian Gionta was headed out for his attempt and he needed to score. Gionta would attempt to score but he was stopped by Jhonas Enroth.
The Sabres successfully came back from an 0-2 deficit in the third period, battled through overtime, and won the game in a shootout. A very impressive showing for a team that has been under much scrutiny in the past few days.
The Sabres will look to win again this Wednesday night as they host the New Jersey Devils at the First Niagara Center. That game will be broadcast live on Versus with the puck dropping around 7:30 PM.