MONTREAL – Despite out-shooting, out-hitting and out-chancing the Sabres, the Canadiens couldn’t beat Buffalo where it mattered most on Tuesday night.
Firing 41 shots on an opposing netminder is usually a winning formula, but when the goaltender in question is Ryan Miller, goals can be a little harder to come by.
“The guy is one of the best goaltenders in the world. It wasn’t a case of us not going to the net or anything like that – we were in front of him all night,” explained Scott Gomez, who had two shots on goal and another six that were either blocked or went wide. “An inch the other way, it goes in and it’s a different hockey game. We have to just keep throwing pucks on net and crashing and one of them has to go through.
“Give them credit,” he continued. “They stuck with it and it was a typical Lindy Ruff, well-coached team. They weathered it and Miller kept them in there and they got two crucial goals at the wrong times for us.”
Thomas Vanek took the wind out of the Canadiens’ sails with just three seconds to go in the second frame, giving the Sabres a 2-1 lead off a late period faceoff. Josh Gorges saw plenty of positives he and his teammates can build on from Tuesday’s game.
“Up to that point, we were outplaying them,” offered Gorges, who played 19:01 against Buffalo. “We had chances, we had opportunities and we were outshooting them two to one. We had some good things going for us. We didn’t want to get frustrated or change the way we were playing; we just have to execute and we have to bury our chances.
“We can’t hang our heads and we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We have to learn from tonight’s game,” he stressed. “We played a good hockey game tonight – a few mistakes here and there but that’s how close it is. Something we have to learn is that one shift can determine the outcome of the game. It’ll suck tonight and tomorrow we’ll get back to work, watch some video, correct some mistakes and move on to the next game.”Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
The Numbers Game - Oct. 18, 2011