NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Montreal
(Saturday, November 24th)
Final Score: Buffalo 3, Montreal 0
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Jocelyn Thibault made 24 saves to earn his 38th career shutout as the Buffalo Sabres skated past the Montreal Canadiens, 3-0, at the Bell Centre.
Jaroslav Spacek, Thomas Vanek and Jochen Hecht scored for the Sabres, who earned a home-and-home sweep over the Canadiens following a 4-2 win in Buffalo Friday and won for the fourth straight time overall.
Thibault was brilliant in a spot start for Buffalo's usual netminder, Ryan Miller, who made 30 saves in the weekend's earlier win over Montreal. Thibault endured a pair of late power plays and a number of Canadiens opportunities, making eight saves in the final period to earn the win.
"It's always fun to play here against the Habs," said Thibault. "I haven't played here in the last couple of years and I'll this hard work I've put in makes it really rewarding."
Cristobal Huet saved 32 shots for Montreal, but allowed a pair of second- period tallies that turned out to be more than enough cushion for Thibault, a former Canadien netminder himself.
Montreal has lost four of its last six games, three of them to Buffalo.
"We can't continue going like this," said Montreal's Michael Komisarek. "We have to do something, and the responsibility falls on each and every one of us as players to be better, and to come to the rink and try and improve."
Huet made 10 saves and Thibault stopped nine shots during the first period, when they combined for a scoreless stanza on both ends.
Buffalo finally took advantage of a power-play opportunity midway through the second to take a one-goal lead. With Tom Kostopoulos in the box for hooking, Spacek beat Huet on a wrister from Ales Kotalik with 10:22 remaining in the period.
Vanek made it a 2-0 game at the 13:54 mark when he took Michael Ryan's pass and flipped it through to the net.
Montreal had over four minutes worth of man-advantage time late in the third period, but could not convert against Thibault and the Sabres penalty-kill unit.
Vanek went to the bench for boarding at the 12:58 mark and Hecht was whistled for cross-checking with a little more than five minutes to go, but the Canadiens came up empty despite a flurry of opportunities during both power plays.
Hecht then made it official when he scored an empty-netter with a backhanded shot from beyond the blue line with 27 seconds remaining.
"(Earlier in the season) we played good hockey and we didn't get rewarded," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "But we've stayed with it and played some real good games. So from that standpoint we needed to beat some good teams to get back to .500 and we really felt that we played some of our best games against Ottawa and Montreal."
Buffalo has taken three of the five meetings between the Northeast Division rivals this season...The Sabres snapped a four-game road losing streak and are now 3-6-1 away from home on the season.
11/25 00:09:53 ET