- in Game Recap
Coming into this game against Montreal, the Sabres were riding a very frustrating three-game losing streak, searching for many different answers.
The Sabres would find throughout the evening that forward Steve Ott seemed to hold the key to this game.
When the first period began, both teams came out firing, looking to take advantage.
Montreal got on the board first, 4:11 into the first period, but the Sabres would strike back quick.
Steve Ott was the recipient of a beautiful feed from Jochen Hecht, just 15 seconds after Montreal’s first goal, and he put the puck home for the equalizer.
Buffalo seemed to have the momentum swinging their way throughout the end of the first period and heading through the second, but that would change.
The Canadiens took a 2-1 lead, at 12:31, on a Brendan Gallagher shot.
Buffalo, again, would not take long to respond. Tyler Ennis knotted the game up, just 35 seconds later, after he scored on a mini-breakaway.
Earlier a hero, Steve Ott would be a goat for the Sabres late in the second. Ott was caught hitting Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban in the face with his stick, and was sent to the box for high-sticking.
Subban would take less than a minute to put Montreal back up 3-2, on the power play.
The momentum was in Montreal’s favor, and that would continue through the early part of the third period.
Shortly following the puck drop, 45 seconds to be exact, Tomas Plekanec would score his second goal of the night to put Montreal up 4-2.
Oddly enough, Steve Ott would be part of the Sabres turnaround.
In the seventh minute of the game, Ott was flying around the ice and laying the body. A Canadiens player hit Ott hard, so he decided to return the favor via a hip check to Canadiens forward Ryan White.
White would take exception, throwing punches at Ott, drawing two minor penalties. Ott was not penalized, so the Sabres were presented with a golden opportunity.
A mere 25 seconds after getting on the power play, Thomas Vanek would pot his 9th goal of the season, putting the Sabres down by one.
This goal seemed to pump some life into the Sabres bench.
Late in the third period, the Sabres would have an extra attacker on the ice when a large scrum began in front of the net, with the puck staying loose.
The referees would not blow the whistle and Thomas Vanek would score his league-leading 10th goal to tie the game. After a review was completed, it was figured out that not only was the Vanek goal good, but it came with roughly 2 seconds left.
In overtime, the Canadiens and Sabres would trade opportunities to win, but neither side could capitalize. The game would be decided in a shootout.
The Sabres first shooter, Thomas Vanek, proved again why he is one of the best players in the league. Vanek would fake a slapshot and easily deposit the puck behind Peter Budaj with a wrist shot, putting the Sabres up 1-0 in the shootout.
Montreal rookie Alex Galchenyuk would dazzle and tie the shootout at one.
After Tyler Ennis and Rene Bourque were stopped by each goaltender, it would be Jason Pominville who put the Sabres up 2-1 in the shootout.
Brian Gionta would attempt to tie the shootout for Montreal, but Ryan Miller would read the shot and make the save, clinching a victory for the struggling Sabres.