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Sabres win 3-2 in a shootout at the Bell Centre

Monday, 11.14.2011 / 8:50 PM ET / THE AFTERMATH
By Kevin Snow  - (@kwsnow)
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MONTREAL – Down 2-0 heading into the third period, Lindy Ruff decided it was time to shuffle the deck. Ruff reunited Derek Roy with Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville, and the trio sparked the Sabres to a 3-2 shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens.

It was Buffalo’s first win in six attempts this season when trailing after two periods, and the first loss for Montreal when entering the third period with a lead. The Sabres have now won five of their last six games, improving to 11-6-0 on the season.


Ruff’s attempt at changing up the lines last week against Philadelphia was cut short when the Flyers dropped three quick goals on the Sabres in the first seven minutes of the game. Tonight it was a different scenario, and his plan worked to perfection. Pominville got Buffalo on the board in the first minute of the third, and Roy teamed up with Vanek to even things up midway through the period.

“My mindset was to go down to three (lines),” Ruff explained. “I threw Derek back up with Thomas and Pommer and we got instant results from that. My plan was to try and double shift those guys to see if we could get something going.”

Ruff hinted afterwards that it may not have been a one-night stand for the reunited linemates.

“I thought that Luke was struggling just a little bit. You can always go back to that. It’s something we can try every now and then, and it’s something we may stay with for a while.”

I think we proved we’re a pretty resilient bunch. A lot of people wanted to doubt us, but I have a lot of faith in our team. - Lindy Ruff
Thomas Vanek and Brad Boyes scored for Buffalo in the shootout, and Jhonas Enroth stopped two of the three Montreal attempts to seal the victory.

For Boyes it was his 26th career shootout goal, moving him into a tie with Pavel Datsyuk for second place in active players – just two behind Jussi Jokinen. It was also the ninth game deciding goal of his career, and that’s tied for fourth among active players. Boyes was Buffalo’s second shooter and his goal was a thing of beauty. Carey Price bit hard on Boyes’ deke, leaving him a wide open right side of the net to deposit the puck into.

Enroth is now 6-0-0 on the season, and 13-0-1 in his last 14 decisions. He hasn’t loss in regulation since November 24, 2010. Tonight’s win also improved is unblemished shootout record to 5-0.

NOTES: Cody McCormick didn’t play the third period. Ruff said afterwards that he simply wasn’t feeling well … Tyler Myers was a healthy scratch for the first time in his three-year career … Mike Weber played his second game of the season, finishing with 22:14 TOI and was second on the team with six hits.

6:32- Good evening from the Bell Centre in downtown Montreal!

6:33- This is Kevin Snow from I'll be with you all night providing live updates from tonight's game between the Sabres and Canadiens.

7:01- BUF starters: Leopold/Regehr .. Stafford/Roy/Leino ... Enroth

7:01- Miller, Myers, Ennis all listed as scratches

7:02- MTL starters: Spacek/Weber, Pacioretty/Desharnais/Cole .. Price

7:03- Cammalleri, Kostitsyn and Gill are scratched for the Habs

7:10- Tonight's anthem was performed by a woman who only goes by the name of IMA. She was easy on the eyes, but a bit hard on the ears.

7:11- Game on!

7:13- Montreal with the game's first scoring chance. But Spacek's knuckleball point shot was covered easily by Enroth.

7:16- Not sure where Erik Cole got those wheels from. He somehow got a step on Leopold who had to slash his stick to prevent a shot. 2 mins for Leo.

7:17- Habs buzzing early on the PP, but the acrobatic Enroth holds them off.

7:18- It's 4-on-4 for :37 -- Plekanec off for tripping

7:24- TV timeout with 12:10 left. Montreal with a 5-1 edge in shots so far.

7:29- Very serious fans here in Montreal. Crowd just booed a guy for losing an in-game contest.

7:32- Solid work by Ellis along the boards. Talk about a guy who brings it every night.

7:36- Roy cuts to the middle and fires a backhand that Price gets a piece of. That was Buffalo's 2nd shot of period, and first in more than 10 mins.

7:38- 3:43 left. Sabres applying some late pressure courtesy of the Vanek line.

7:41- Enroth slides across and stones Cole on the cross-ice one timer.

7:42- Enroth stands tall again ... and again on Cole from in close.

7:43- Montreal fans love to chant "PK! PK!" during the game. They must be big fans of their penalty killing unit.

7:44- Last minute ..

7:45- After 1: Scoreless at the Bell Centre. Montreal leads 10-6 in shots.

7:54- Six Sabres each record one shot in the first period.

8:04- Game on!

8:06- Gaustad called for roughing after giving an extra shot to Palushaj along the wall

8:08- MON 1-0: What a cluster that was. Bodies flying everywhere. Cole fired the puck into a wide open net with Enroth down and out

8:11- Enroth comes up big twice on Darche, the second save coming after a Sabres gaffe at the blueline.

8:15- Very physical shift by Gaustad and Kaleta, each recording a couple of solid checks

8:18- Vanek with a chance in tight but Price grabs the loose puck

8:18- Stafford gets two whacks from in close -- but Price holds his ground

8:22- Palushaj goes off for tripping Leino at center ice. Sabres on the PP.

8:29- MON 2-0: Follow the bouncing puck. Pacioretty gets a gift goal as the puck jumps over the sticks of two Sabres defenders.

8:30- Youppi is in the house!

8:35- Stafford with a good chance from the slot but his shot is blocked by Gorges.

8:36- Gaustad slashes the twig right out of Desharnais' hands. Can't do that. 2 mins for slashing

8:39- The siren sounds to end the second period. Montreal scores twice to take a 2-0 lead with 20 mins to go.

Sabres outhitting Montreal 18-16 through 2. Mike Weber leading the way with 5. 

8:57- Game on!

8:57- GOAL!

8:58- 2-1: Pominville with a one-timed cannon from the slot, after some nice digging behind the net by Vanek and Roy. (:53)

9:00- Montreal is 5-0-0 when leading after 2 --- Sabres are 0-5-0 when trailing after 2

9:00- And once again, Nathan Gerbe finds himself on the bottom of post-whistle scrum.

9:03- Roy has moved in between Vanek and Pominville this period. Adam now with Leino and Stafford.

9:13- Adam gets a deuce for slashing. Habs to the PP

9:16- GOAL!

9:18- 2-2: After Vanek just misses and gets hooked, Roy goes high glove on Price to even the score (12:30)

9:19- Vanek with the lone helper - his 21st point of the season.

9:21- Gaustad off for cross-checking

9:26- 3:11 remaining.

9:27- Sabres outshooting Habs 9-4 this period.

9:27- Ellis and Boyes with very limited ice in the 3rd. Don't see McCormick on the bench - no word if he's hurt

9:31- Last minute of regulation

9:33- We're going to OOOOO-vertime!

9:34- OT records: BUF 2-0 --- MTL 2-2

9:35- This also guarantees that 9 of Buffalo's 17 games will have been decided by one goal

9:35- Free hockey time

9:36- Sabres on the PP -- Cole with a blatant goaltender interference penalty. Then pulls the classless move of firing puck into Sabres empty net after whistle

9:36- Vanek and Pominville with a pair of good chances early on the PP. 1:35 left

9:37- 3:25 left in OT

9:38- Vanek knocks Price's clearing attempt down with a high stick. Faceoff comes all the way back to Sabres end

9:40- Vanek called for tripping Pacioretty with 2:11 left.

9:40- 28/6/24 on ice for Sabres

9:41- Enroth slides across to stop Gomez

9:42- Sabres escape trouble as Subban steps into one, but snaps his stick on point shot

9:42- 14.1 left

9:43- Sabres ice the puck just as Vanek steps out of the box. 5.2 seconds left

9:44- Gaustad with the big faceoff win over Plekanec. The pair then have words as the buzzer sounds.

9:45- Sabres are 2-0 in shootouts this season; 37-30 all-time.

9:45- Montreal is 2-2 in shootouts this season; 30-30 all-time

9:46- Correction - Sabres are 1-0

9:46- Montreal shoots first -Plekanec .. save!

9:47- Vanek - goal! 1-0 BUF

9:47- Pacioretty - goal

9:48- Boyes - sweet goal!

9:48- Gionta is stopped by Enroth. Sabres win 3-2!
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