NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Montreal
(Saturday, October 20th)
Final Score: Montreal 4, Buffalo 2
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Roman Hamrlik got credit for the game- winning tally and also had two assists, as the Montreal Canadiens doubled up the Buffalo Sabres, 4-2, at the Bell Centre.
Chris Higgins, Bryan Smolinski and Kyle Chipchura also lit the lamp for Montreal, which put the brakes on a three-game skid. Cristobal Huet made 25 saves and has now stopped 84 of 89 shots in his last three home games.
Paul Gaustad and Derek Roy each scored for Buffalo, which has now lost two straight on the road following a three-game win streak at home. Ryan Miller stopped 23-of-26 shots in the loss.
"The last 20 minutes we played real well, but they got a couple of bounces and a couple of goals," said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff. "In a tight game like that, sometimes a bounce wins it for you."
With the game tied at 2-2 and Montreal enjoying a two-man advantage in the third period, Hamrlik's slapshot from the point hit the glass and ricocheted out in front of the net, where it was knocked in off the right arm of Miller with 7:22 remaining. Video goal judge Louis Therien immediately called for a review of the tally, but after looking at the replay determined the puck crossed the goal line.
Credit for the score was originally given to Higgins on a deflection, but after the game NHL officials determined Hamrlik was the last Montreal player to touch the puck.
Higgins then added an empty-net goal with 24.9 seconds remaining to sew up the victory.
"I wasn't really worried about not scoring," said Higgins. "I knew if I kept doing things, kept getting pucks on net that they'd go in. I wasn't envisioning the one I got tonight, but I'll take it."
The Canadiens struck early on the power play, as Smolinski knocked home a rebound that caromed off the outside of the near post just 2:34 into the contest.
Buffalo then tied it on the power play 4:12 into the second stanza when Gaustad parked himself in front of the net and tipped in a slapshot by Tim Connolly from the top left circle.
Then, just nine seconds later, the Sabres grabbed a 2-1 lead when the puck came out from behind the net, hit Roy's stick and went off a Montreal player before slipping past Huet.
Chipchura tied it at 2-2 when he wristed a harmless-looking shot from the top left circle over the shoulder of a screened Miller at 7:10.
Sabres defenseman Jaroslav Spacek missed his second straight game because of a shoulder injury...Miller lost for the first time in Montreal and is now 4-1-0 at Bell Center...The Sabres were 4-3-1 against the Canadiens last season, which included a split of four meetings in Montreal.
10/20 23:05:14 ET