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Buffalo
Sabres
41-32-9
Montréal
Canadiens
41-30-11

game recap

Sabres 4, Canadiens 3, SO

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Sabres 4, Canadiens 3, SO
Buffalo Sabres 4, Montréal Canadiens 3

MONTREAL (AP) -Toni Lydman knew just what to do when his name was finally called in the shootout.

Lydman scored on Buffalo's sixth attempt, and Ryan Miller stopped each of Montreal's tries to lead the Sabres to a 4-3 win over the Canadiens on Saturday night.

The Buffalo defenseman put a shot through Carey Price's legs on his first career shootout attempt after the goalie turned aside the first five shooters he faced.

"I knew what I was going to do, try to throw it five-hole," Lydman said. "I had to skate around (Price) to see that the puck actually went in."

Miller, who never watches the Sabres' attempts during shootouts, was perfect in the tiebreaker. Maxim Lapierre fanned on the Canadiens' final attempt after Alex Kovalev, Alex Tanguay, Saku Koivu, Andrei Markov and Tomas Plekanec also failed to score.

"I'll watch it on video, but Carey had a nice game, he did a good job," said Miller, who has stopped 31 of 40 shootout attempts this season. "Our goals were hard-fought and around the net. He battled through that shootout. I didn't see it, but from the reaction of the crowd and the kind of shooters he had shooting on him it looked like he made some good plays."

Miller started for the second time in two nights, after missing 13 games due to a sprained left ankle, and made 32 saves. He had a sensational lunging stop midway through the first that prevented Lapierre and the Canadiens from opening the scoring.

"He had to be the difference by the time the end of the night came around," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "To do what he did in the shootout, that's a big point for us."

Miller stopped 33 shots in the Sabres' 5-3 win over Toronto on Friday in his return.

Clarke MacArthur drew Buffalo even at 3 when he scored into an open right side 3:58 into the third.

The Sabres held a 37-35 edge in shots overall, including a 16-7 advantage in the third.

"I don't think we responded badly, but I don't think we made the plays to alleviate that pressure," said Montreal left wing Chris Higgins, who scored the first of his team's three unanswered goals in the second.

Adam Mair and Tim Connolly also scored for the Sabres, who are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 82 points. The Canadiens are eighth in the East with 86.

"We need the points more - we can't get down," Miller said. "If this were the last game of the season that would have been unfortunate, but there are seven games left."

Lapierre got a boarding penalty 2:52 in for checking Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta from behind into the boards. Kaleta returned for a few more shifts before leaving the game for good.

Ruff said Kaleta was examined by Canadiens medical staff who, "deemed him to have a concussion."

"You can tell the impact by the fact his helmet flew off his head," Ruff said. "I disagree with the lack of respect that he showed our player on the play."

Kovalev scored two goals and Higgins added one as Montreal came back from a two-goal deficit early in the second to take a 3-2 lead.

Mair scored on a deflection late in the first and Connolly gave the Sabres a 2-0 lead with his career-high 17th goal on a power play 2:36 into the second.

Higgins scored the first of three straight Montreal goals when he drove a shot from the left side over Miller's right shoulder for his 10th goal at 7:58.

Kovalev got credit for his 21st goal at 12:33 when Koivu came out from behind the net and put a backhand along the ice that went in off the Russian right wing.

With Andrej Sekera already in the penalty box, Buffalo's Jochen Hecht was sent off for cross-checking Markov at 15:04 after the Montreal defenseman stopped him on a partial breakaway.

Kovalev got his second goal in 2:41 to put the Canadiens up 3-2, converting during a 5-on-3 power play at 15:14.

His linemate Tanguay, who had the third five-point game of his career in Tuesday's 6-3 win over Atlanta, assisted on the tying and go-ahead goals. Tanguay has a five-game point streak.

Sabres defenseman Henrik Tallinder was cut on the forehead at 10:56 when a slap shot by Canadiens defenseman Patrice Brisebois struck him on the front of his helmet. Tallinder, who wears a visor, went to the dressing room and returned for the second period.

Notes: Connolly had 16 goals in 63 games with Buffalo in 2005-06. ... Sabres RW Jason Pominville extended his point streak to six games with an assist on MacArthur's goal. Pominville has two goals and eight assists during his streak. ... Tanguay has three goals and seven assists during his run. ... Canadiens LW Andrei Kostitsyn missed his second straight game because of the flu.

scoring summary
1st Period
17:35
BUF
Adam Mair (8) ASST: Jochen Hecht (15), Toni Lydman (17)
1 - 0 BUF
2nd Period
02:36
BUF
PPG - Tim Connolly (17) ASST: NONE
2 - 0 BUF
07:58
MTL
Chris Higgins (10) ASST: Mathieu Dandenault (6), Josh Gorges (17)
2 - 1 BUF
12:33
MTL
Alex Kovalev (21) ASST: Saku Koivu (29), Alex Tanguay (24)
2 - 2 Tie
15:14
MTL
PPG - Alex Kovalev (22) ASST: Mathieu Schneider (21), Alex Tanguay (25)
3 - 2 MTL
3rd Period
03:58
BUF
Clarke MacArthur (15) ASST: Jason Pominville (42), Tim Connolly (22)
3 - 3 Tie
OT Period
NONE
Shootout
RNDBUFMTL
1T. ConnollyA. Kovalev
2D. StaffordA. Tanguay
3J. PominvilleS. Koivu
4D. RoyA. Markov
5T. VanekT. Plekanec
6T. LydmanM. Lapierre
penalty summary
1st Period
02:52
MTL
Maxim Lapierre  Boarding against  Patrick Kaleta
10:16
BUF
Patrick Kaleta  Unsportsmanlike conduct
10:16
MTL
Maxim Lapierre  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Patrick Kaleta
10:16
MTL
Tom Kostopoulos  Fighting (maj) against  Craig Rivet
10:16
BUF
Craig Rivet  Fighting (maj) against  Tom Kostopoulos
10:56
MTL
Tomas Plekanec  Roughing against  Dominic Moore
10:56
BUF
Dominic Moore  Roughing against  Tomas Plekanec
15:30
MTL
Alex Kovalev  Delay of game
18:36
BUF
Toni Lydman  Slashing against  Sergei Kostitsyn
2nd Period
01:53
MTL
Roman Hamrlik  Interference against  Jason Pominville
13:30
BUF
Andrej Sekera  Holding against  Chris Higgins
15:04
BUF
Jochen Hecht  Cross checking against  Andrei Markov
3rd Period
06:07
BUF
Jochen Hecht  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
OT Period
NONE
goalie stats
Ryan Miller
SA: 35TOI: 64:59
Saves: 32EV: 23 - 25
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 7
SV%: .914SH: 3 - 3
Carey Price
SA: 37TOI: 64:44
Saves: 34EV: 28 - 30
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .919SH: 1 - 1