NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Buffalo
(Saturday, January 9th)
Final Score: Colorado 4, Buffalo 3 (SO)
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Matt Hendricks scored the decisive goal in the 11th round of the shootout, as the Colorado Avalanche overcame squandering a pair of two-goal leads and posted a 4-3 win over the streaking Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena.
Matt Duchene scored twice, while Brandon Yip registered a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who snapped a two-game skid. Craig Anderson finished with 32 saves in the win.
Drew Stafford, Thomas Vanek and Jochen Hecht lit the lamp for Buffalo, which had won six straight. Patrick Lalime stopped 27 shots in defeat.
Trailing 3-1, Vanek tapped in his own rebound at the 9:19 mark of the third period and Hecht's long wrister from the right point tied the game with 4:12 to go.
"I just tried to fire the puck at the net and hope for a good bounce," Hecht said of his game-ying goal.
Buffalo defenseman Steve Montador was assessed a high-sticking penalty with 59 seconds left in regulation, but the Avalanche failed to convert.
Seven goals were scored in the epic shootout. Vanek faked the shot and fired the puck past Anderson's glove to open the fourth round, but Duchene countered for the Avalanche. Colorado rookie Ryan O'Reilly answered a Hecht marker in the eighth round. The score remained the same until Hendricks followed up a save by Anderson on Henrik Tallinder with a nifty tally. He faked the forehand before switching to the backhand and sliding the puck past a fallen Lalime.
"They play very well from behind," Duchene said of Buffalo. "They are a skilled team. They play fast. It was a big win for us."
Colorado built a two-goal lead in the first period on a pair of tallies by Duchene, the NHL's rookie of the month for December.
Displaying an aggressive forecheck, Duchene stripped Tallinder of the puck in the attacking zone. He quickly dished to Hendricks and hammered the return feed behind Lalime at 7:35.
Colorado right winger Milan Hejduk was then denied on the wraparound, but Duchene crashed the net and banged home the rebound with 6:32 remaining.
Stafford's one-timer in the waning seconds of a power play put Buffalo on the board with 2:55 left in the middle stanza, but Yip, another impressive Avalanche rookie, restored the two-goal edge 62 seconds later, firing a wrister that beat Lalime on the blocker side.
Avalanche captain Adam Foote is out indefinitely with an ankle injury. He was hurt during Friday's loss to Carolina...Colorado defenseman John-Michael Liles returned to the lineup after missing the previous game due to flu-like symptoms...Yip has five goals and three assists in his first 10 NHL games...Colorado ends its three-game road trip Monday in Calgary...The Sabres begin a seven-game road swing Thursday in Atlanta.
01/09 23:55:29 ET