NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Montreal
(Monday, October 23rd)
Final Score: Buffalo 4, Montreal 1
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Chris Drury scored his 10th goal of the season and Ryan Miller made 26 saves as the Buffalo Sabres notched their best start in franchise history with a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
The Sabres are now 9-0 to start the season, besting the team record of 8-0 to start the 1975-76 season.
"We have a great group in that (locker) room," said Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff. "The core group are the ones that lead the team, I merely put them out on the ice. In the early goings, the results have been good."
Jiri Novotny and Jason Pominville also scored for Buffalo, which is now just one game shy of tying the NHL record for longest winning streak to start the season set by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1993-94 campaign.
Mike Johnson scored the lone goal for the Canadiens, while Cristobal Huet yielded three goals on 25 shots.
About midway through the first period, Novotny skated the puck just inside the blueline and fired a blast that hit off the shoulder of Huet and up and over the goaltender's head before falling into the net to give Buffalo the first score.
"I thought it bounced in front of me and I was trying to control the puck," said Huet. "But you know what happened."
The Sabres then got two more goals in the second period to build a 3-0 lead.
Just 9:10 into the period with Montreal on the power play, Drury picked the pocket of Andrei Markov near mid-ice, skated the puck down the other end of the rink and wristed a shot top shelf to make it 2-0.
Then, just under two minutes later, Daniel Briere collected the puck behind the net, skated into the slot and fired a shot on the net that Pominville deflected past Huet to make it 3-0.
"I had my stick there and next thing you know it was in the net," said Pominville. "I'll take it."
The Canadiens finally got a goal past Miller in the third period after a Sabres turnover in their own zone.
Johnson rifled a shot on net that deflected off the stick of a Buffalo player and past Miller with 10:54 left in the period.
Then, after Thomas Vanek was whistled for tripping with 2:25 left to play, Montreal pulled Huet to create a 6-on-4 advantage. However, the Sabres defense held up and Vanek exited the penalty box at the conclusion of his penalty and stuffed in an empty net goal to ice the game.
"It was a good win," said Miller. "It was a night when everything went my way. The players in front of me are playing a more responsible game and we're trying to have fun while winning."
Dating back to April 7, the Sabres have won 14 consecutive regular season games...Buffalo forward Maxim Afinogenov was named one of the NHL's Three Stars of the Week on Monday...Buffalo went 0-for-6 with the power play, while Montreal squandered four man-advantages.
10/23 23:07:55 ET