NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Montreal
(Tuesday, February 7th)
Final Score: Buffalo 3, Montreal 2 (OT)
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Maxim Afinogenov netted his second goal of the game 30 seconds into overtime to give the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in the opener of a home-and-home series at the Bell Centre.
Derek Roy added a goal and an assist and Teppo Numminen added two assists for the Sabres, who have won their past six contests.
Ryan Miller, fresh off of defensive player of the week honors, made 30 saves for Buffalo, which will return home to face Montreal on Thursday.
Alex Kovalev and Chris Higgins scored goals and Cristobal Huet made 31 saves in the loss for the Canadiens, who had a small two-game winning streak snapped.
Huet had posted back-to-back shutouts and had not allowed a goal in 173 minutes and 19 seconds. He had stopped 89 shots during that time.
Several penalties towards the end of regulation led to the Sabres getting a 5- on-3 advantage in the extra session.
A blast from the right point was stopped by Huet. But, the disc popped out to the front and several players were whacking away to either put it in the net or clear it out. The puck wound up at the right side of the net where Afinogenov poked it in to win the game for the Sabres.
"We played a pretty good game," said Afinogenov. "The refs called two penalties at the end and it helped us."
Buffalo had a 2-1 lead throughout much of the second period, but Kovalev took the puck in on the breakaway and snapped the disc over Miller's right shoulder to even the game up with 3:36 left in the game.
The Canadiens appeared to take the lead with a little over a minute left, but the referee waved the goal off and a review of the play upheld the call and the game went into overtime.
Neither team was able to get on the scoreboard in the first period. Buffalo had two power plays and outshot Montreal 13-12 during the stanza.
Buffalo opened up the scoring in the second period with a power-play goal. After good work along the left board Roy got the puck to Afinogenov, who snapped a backhander from the low left circle that beat Huet through the five- hole 5:43 in to make it a 1-0 game.
However, it was another Sabres power play that led to the Canadiens tying the game up. A forced turnover at the Canadiens blue line led to Tomas Plekanec skating down the ice on a 2-on-1. From the right circle he slid a pass by a sliding Sabres player to Higgins at the left circle. Higgins corralled the puck and fired a wrister past a diving Miller for the shorthanded tally a little over halfway in.
Buffalo took the 2-1 lead into the locker room in the closing moments of the second period. Brian Campbell let loose with a cannon shot from the left point that Roy deflected in front with just six seconds left until the second intermission.
Buffalo is 18-8-1 on the road...Montreal is 16-7-3 on home ice...The Sabres scored on two of their seven power plays...Montreal was held scoreless in its three different man advantages...Numminen has 30 assists and zero goals on the season.
02/07 22:55:26 ET