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Tony Lydman scores shootout winner as Sabres edge Canadiens 4-3

NHL.com @NHL

MONTREAL - Tony Lydman scored in the sixth round of a shootout as the Buffalo Sabres helped their late-season playoff drive with a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

The win left Buffalo (37-30-8) in 10th place in the NHL Eastern Conference, only four points behind Montreal (38-27-10), which holds the eighth and final playoff spot.

The Sabres' Clarke MacArthur's goal early in the third period forced overtime and then the shootout, in which Ryan Miller stopped all six Montreal shooters and Carey Price stopped five Sabres before Lydman beat him with a wrist shot between the pads.

Adam Mair and Tim Connolly also scored for the Sabres, while Alex Kovalev had two and Chris Higgins added the other in regulation time for Montreal, which ended a two-game winning streak. The Sabres have now won three in a row.

The Sabres were coming off a tough 5-3 win over Toronto on Friday night, but thanks to sharp goaltending from Miller they managed to take a two-goal lead despite lacking some legs.

They had just ended a power play when Jochen Hecht fired a pass to the far post that was redirected in by Mair at 17:35 of the opening period.

A mix-up on the clearing attempt handed Connolly the puck in the slot to fire in his 17th goal on a power play 2:36 into the second frame, but Higgins beat Miller with a high wrist shot on a rush down the left side at 7:58 to start a three-goal Montreal outburst.

Saku Koivu went around the net and had his backhand attempt go in off Kovalev at 12:33 and, while on a two-man advantage, Kovalev stopped a hard pass from Mathieu Schneider at the side of the net with his skate and slipped it inside the post at 15:14.

The Sabres played desperation hockey in the third and it paid off when, after some tough checking in the Montreal zone, Jason Pominville's shot went off Carey price's skate to MacArthur for the tying goal.

Pominville now has 10 points in his last six games.

Notes: For the seventh time this season, struggling forward Maxim Afinogenov was scratched. Others not dressed for Buffalo were Teppo Numminen, Matt Ellis, Nathan Paetsch, Andrew Peters and Mikael Tellqvist. . . . Andrei Kostitsyn missed a second game with a flu for Montreal, while Ryan O'Byrne, Georges Laraque and Greg Stewart were scratched.

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