NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Buffalo
(Friday, November 23rd)
Final Score: Buffalo 4, Montreal 2
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Thomas Vanek provided the go-ahead goal and Tim Connolly had a goal and an assist to lead the Buffalo Sabres past the Montreal Canadiens, 4-2, at HSBC Arena in the opener of a home-and-home series.
Jason Pominville donated two assists while Ryan Miller made 30 saves for Buffalo, which went a perfect 3-0 on its homestand.
Christopher Higgins and Tomas Plekanec both scored for the Canadiens, who have dropped two of three. Carey Price turned away 28 shots in net.
The second installment of this home-and-home will be played Saturday.
Buffalo jumped out to a 2-0 lead, only to watch Montreal storm back and tie it.
Higgins cut the deficit in half midway through the second stanza, as he gathered a rebound, coasted into the high slot, then fired a shot through traffic that beat Miller.
Plekanec evened the contest at 2-2 4:56 into the third, using his speed to get behind the defense for the breakaway before finishing with the forehand.
Vanek provided an answer, though, with a power-play marker with 8:33 left in regulation. Vanek was denied on his initial redirection attempt, but gathered the rebound in the slot and punched it home to give the lead back to Buffalo.
Miller kept Montreal off the board from there and Daniel Paille iced it with an empty-net tally.
The Sabres struck on a power-play 8:56 into the contest to assume the early lead. Maxim Afinogenov unleashed a slapshot from the right wing that was off the mark, but Derek Roy -- stationed in the slot -- got a stick on it for a redirection goal.
Connolly upped the lead to 2-0 7:39 into the second with a rebound putback from the right side of the net.
This was Connolly's first goal in 12 games, and for Vanek his first in eight games...Roy has three goals and two assists in his last four games.
11/23 22:31:36 ET