NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Colorado
(Saturday, October 25th)
Final Score: Colorado 2, Buffalo 1 (SO)
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Ryan Smyth scored the game-winning goal in the fifth round of the shootout, and the Colorado Avalanche came away with a 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at Pepsi Center.
Jordan Leopold scored the tying goal late in the third period for the Avalanche, who have won five straight after starting the season with three consecutive losses. Peter Budaj stopped 29-of-30 shots he faced in the win.
"It was more of a pass then anything else," Leopold said of his goal. "I was trying to get a pass to the inside and it clipped off of one of their skates."
Daniel Paille scored the lone regulation tally for the Sabres, who have dropped two of their last four games. Ryan Miller let in one goal on 29 shots in defeat.
Milan Hejduk and Ales Kotalik both scored in the opening round of the shootout, but Joe Sakic and Drew Stafford were stopped on backhand attempts, which made it 1-1 after two rounds.
Wojtek Wolski then skated towards his left, faked to the right and brought the disc back to slip it by Miller. Derek Roy, though, tied it back up for Buffalo as he skated right and beat Budaj to his left.
Marek Svatos was halted on a pad save from Miller, and Thomas Vanek was denied via a kick save from Budaj.
Smyth then skated in to his right and beat Miller top shelf to give the Avs a 3-2 lead in the shootout.
Clarke MacArthur had a chance to tie it up, but his shot was stopped by Budaj, and Colorado came away with a 2-1 win.
Miller made nine saves and Budaj seven, as the clubs skated to a scoreless tie after 20 minutes of hockey.
Buffalo got on the board first in the second period. MacArthur slid a cross- ice pass to Toni Lydman at the top left corner of the zone. Lydman then blasted a shot, which was redirected by Paille at the left circle and trickled under Budaj and across the goal line to make it 1-0 at the 9:18 mark.
Neither team mustered any more offense in the middle frame, and the clubs headed to the final period with a one-goal differential.
The Avs knotted the contest up with 6:24 left in the game. Following a scrum to the left of the goal, Hejduk came up with the puck and skated towards the goal, but instead, he hit Leopold with a pass just above the right circle. Leopold's slap shot made its way through traffic and into the left side of the net to make it 1-1.
"We talked about this all season long," Miller said. "When Ryan Smyth touched the knob of my stick...I got unbalanced. He causes havoc, I am surprised he was not whistled down on this."
The clubs headed for overtime but combined for just three shots in the extra frame, which led to an exciting shootout that went down to the wire.
Adam Foote left early in the first period with a foot injury but returned later in the opening stanza...The Avalanche also recorded a one-goal victory when these teams last met on March 7, 2007. That victory snapped a three-game series losing streak. Colorado had dropped two straight to Buffalo as the host...Leopold has scored in three straight games...Hejduk has 4 goals and 2 assists in his last five games...Paul Stastny's 7-game point streak came to an end.
10/26 00:33:32 ET