Red-hot Vanek leads Sabres to victory

Kevin Snow  - (@kwsnow) | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Buffalo 5 – Montreal 4 (SO)
Thursday, February 7, 2013
First Niagara Center

With the Buffalo Sabres down by two goals in the third period, Thomas Vanek decided to take his teammates for another ride on his back. The NHL’s leading scorer continued his torrid start to the season with a pair of goals, including the game-tying marker with just two seconds left in regulation, as the Sabres rallied to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 in a shootout on Thursday at First Niagara Center. The loss broke a three-game losing streak for the Sabres, improving them to 4-6-1 on the season. With his two goals, Vanek continues to sit atop the NHL scoring race with a league-best 10 goals and 21 points in just 10 games.

Tyler Ennis matched his career-high with three points (1+2), and Marcus Foligno set a new career-best with three assists. Steve Ott also scored his second goal of the season in the first period.

The Sabres were down 4-3 with 22 seconds left in the third when head coach Lindy Ruff called a timeout. Marcus Foligno replaced Drew Stafford on the ensuing faceoff, and that move paid dividends immediately. Foligno drove hard behind the Montreal net before throwing it in front to Tyler Ennis. His initial shot was stopped, but Vanek was able to poke the rebound through Montreal netminder Peter Budaj while laying on his stomach with just 1.9 seconds left on the clock.

With overtime solving nothing, Vanek and Jason Pominville both scored in the shootout to preserve the victory. Ryan Miller made 28 saves to pick up the win, while stopping two of the three Montreal shootout attempts.

Tomas Plekanec had two goals on the night, with Brendan Gallagher and P.K. Subban also scoring for Montreal. Peter Budaj stopped 36 Buffalo shots in his second appearance of the season.

Thomas Vanek
becomes the ninth player in Sabres history to reach 20 points in 10 or fewer games played… Vanek’s two-goal night gives him five multi-point games in his first 10 games played… Dating back to last season, Vanek has 32 points (12+20) in his last 20 games… The shootout win was Buffalo’s first since Mar. 10/12 at Ottawa, and their first at home since Feb. 24/12 vs. Boston… The Sabres are now 44-37 all-time in shootouts… Buffalo rallied from a two-goal deficit for the second time this season, following up the 7-4 win at Boston on Jan. 31… They also overcame a two-goal third-period deficit for the first time since a 6-5 OT win vs. Boston on Apr. 3/12… The first period goals by Tomas Plekanec and Steve Ott were scored 15 seconds apart, the quickest two goals in a Sabres game since Buffalo got goals from Derek Roy and Corey Tropp just :11 apart on Nov. 8/11 vs. Winnipeg… This was the second of five meetings between the Sabres and Canadiens this season; 255th game all-time between Buffalo and Montreal… The Sabres are 117-101-37 against the Canadiens… The Sabres have more wins against the Canadiens (117) than any other franchise; they have 115 against the Bruins… The teams next meet on Tuesday, March 19 in Buffalo… Buffalo improves to 3-2-1 against Northeast Division rivals this season.

Christian Ehrhoff
returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game with a muscle strain… Andrej Sekera missed his third straight game with a deep bone bruise on his foot… Adam Pardy and Matt Ellis were both healthy scratches… Robyn Regehr (lower body, 5 games), Ville Leino (hip, 11 games) and Patrick Kaleta (neck, 5 games) are all on IR… The anthems were performed by 8-year-old Baylee Morrison of Rochester.

Time on Ice: Christian Ehrhoff, 27:40
Shots: Thomas Vanek, 8
Blocked Shots: Weber/McCormick/Brennan, 2
Hits: Mike Weber, 3
Faceoff Wins: Tyler Ennis, 10
Total Faceoffs: Ennis, 18 (10-8)

Opponent scores first: 1-3-1
Tied after the first period: 2-3-1
Trailing after the second period: 1-4-1
Outshooting an opponent: 2-0-1

Buffalo was just one-for-seven on the power play, but Vanek’s first goal at 7:57 of the third snapped an 0-for-16 slump dating back four games. Vanek also scored Buffalo’s last PPG, on Jan. 31 at Boston. The Sabres are now at 16.3% (7/43) on the season. Buffalo killed off three-of-four Canadiens’ power plays, leaving them at 77.8% (35/45) through 11 games.

* Saturday @ NY Islanders, 7 p.m.
* Sunday vs. Boston, 7 p.m.
* Tuesday @ Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
04:11MTL Tomas Plekanec (5) ASST: Rene Bourque (3), Alexei Emelin (2) 1 - 0 MTL
04:26BUF Steve Ott (2) ASST: Jochen Hecht (3) 1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
12:31MTL Brendan Gallagher (4) ASST: Brandon Prust (2), Raphael Diaz (9) 2 - 1 MTL
13:06BUF Tyler Ennis (4) ASST: Marcus Foligno (5) 2 - 2 Tie
18:32MTL PPG - P.K. Subban (2) ASST: Andrei Markov (6), Max Pacioretty (6) 3 - 2 MTL
3rd Period
00:45MTL Tomas Plekanec (6) ASST: Brian Gionta (3), Rene Bourque (4) 4 - 2 MTL
07:57BUF PPG - Thomas Vanek (9) ASST: Tyler Ennis (4), Marcus Foligno (6) 4 - 3 MTL
19:58BUF Thomas Vanek (10) ASST: Steve Ott (3), Tyler Ennis (5) 4 - 4 Tie
OT Period
1BUFThomas Vanek - Goal
2MTLAlex Galchenyuk - Goal
3BUFTyler Ennis - Save
4MTLRene Bourque - Save
5BUFJason Pominville - Goal
6MTLBrian Gionta - Save
Shootout Summary
RNDBuffalo SabresMontréal Canadiens
1Thomas VanekAlex Galchenyuk
2Tyler EnnisRene Bourque
3Jason PominvilleBrian Gionta
Three Stars of the Game
Thomas Vanek
Thomas Vanek
G: 2Shots: 8
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: -1TOI: 23:56
Tyler Ennis
Tyler Ennis
G: 1Shots: 6
A: 2Hits: 1
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 22:14
Marcus Foligno
Marcus Foligno
G: 0Shots: 0
A: 2Hits: 2
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 20:57
Penalty Summary
1st Period
07:15BUF Thomas Vanek  Interference against  David Desharnais
14:48MTL Brendan Gallagher  Boarding against  TJ Brennan
14:48MTL Brendan Gallagher  Roughing against  TJ Brennan
14:48BUF TJ Brennan  Roughing against  Brendan Gallagher
2nd Period
02:50MTL Colby Armstrong  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  John Scott
04:04MTL Rene Bourque  Hooking against  Thomas Vanek
08:16MTL Erik Cole  Holding the stick against  Jason Pominville
14:57MTL Brian Gionta  Holding against  Cody Hodgson
17:06BUF Cody Hodgson  Hooking against  Tomas Plekanec
17:39BUF Steve Ott  Hi-sticking against  P.K. Subban
3rd Period
07:32MTL Ryan White  Roughing against  Steve Ott
07:32MTL Ryan White  Roughing against  Steve Ott
13:37BUF Jochen Hecht  Hooking against  Erik Cole
OT Period
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays1/41/7
Faceoff Wins2934
Blocked Shots1211
Penalty Minutes1610
8B. PrustL0112014:27
14T. PlekanecC2015023:11
17R. BourqueR0227219:33
20C. ArmstrongR00-13213:03
21B. GiontaR0122218:21
26J. GorgesD0000019:55
27A. GalchenyukC0011010:40
51D. DesharnaisC00-21016:40
53R. WhiteC000048:43
55F. BouillonD00-11020:52
61R. DiazD0113023:37
67M. PaciorettyL01-22014:35
72E. ColeL00-21214:01
73B. GallagherR101148:44
74A. EmelinD0110019:36
76P. SubbanD10-12021:02
79A. MarkovD0100025:00
81L. EllerC00-11016:10
30P. Budaj3640.90064:50
3J. LeopoldD0012023:23
6M. WeberD00-20018:23
8C. McCormickC000007:14
9S. OttC1123216:27
10C. EhrhoffD0023027:40
19C. HodgsonC00-24220:02
21D. StaffordR0004018:26
25M. GrigorenkoC0011010:34
26T. VanekL20-18223:56
29J. PominvilleR00-13022:30
32J. ScottL000003:16
33T. BrennanD0003214:47
42N. GerbeC000109:04
52A. SulzerD0001018:01
55J. HechtC0111216:23
57T. MyersD00-20020:46
63T. EnnisC1216022:14
82M. FolignoL0210020:57
30R. Miller2832.87563:31