Canadiens stun Sabres 4-3 in OT

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    Rocket:

    Wow! What a comeback! You have to admire the Canadien’s never say die attitude this year. I can’t help wondering though if such heroics would have been necessary had they showed up for the game at 7:35 p.m. After the game coach Carbonneau said that his team played well for 3 minutes. What Carbo failed to acknowledge was that his goaltender stood on his head for 57 minutes to give his team a chance. Price was sensational again!

    Was the rest of the team still napping after having a week off? Perhaps Carbonneau might want to re-evaluate that strategy. A day or two off the ice is a good idea but the Canadiens didn’t look good after their holiday…especially the defense (once again). Zone clears and breakouts were sloppy. Ryan O’Byrne was the only Hab ‘D’ playing a physical game. Gorges looked outmatched again in front of the net. Streit was brilliant in the offensive zone but terrible in his own end. Maybe a day of practise with their new defensive partners would have helped. Certainly Streit needed some reps remembering how to be a defenseman again.

    Another good showing on the scoresheet for Plekanec against the Sabres. Grabovski played well with limited icetime. Higgins went to the net when the Habs had pressure.. Sergei Kostitsyn seemed to be in Carbonneau’s doghouse and saw less action. Lapierre didn’t have a good game. Some very inconsistent work by the men in stripes didn’t help the Canadiens either.

    Pregame:

    McGuire says that Markov deserves consideration for the Norris.

    Sergio Momesso doing colour on the radio broadcast. Couldn’t be any worse than Murray Wilson.

    New NHL injury reporting rules force the Canadiens to reveal that Mike Komisarek has a hip injury.

    1st period:

    Koivu line to start the game.
    Koivu upended by Vanek and comes up hobbling. Not a good sign.


    O’Byrne big hit on Paille. O’Byrne blocks a shot by Hecht.

    Good start for Price. Sabres outshooting Habs 4-1.

    Great passes by Plekanec and Andrei K but Kovalev missed the net. Mair is shadowing Kovy.

    Koivu seems ok. Sergei K 2 minute penalty for highsticking.
    Kovalev sends Streit in for shorthanded chance. Save by Miller.

    Markov penalty for roughing.
    One-timer from circle by Roy tipped in front by Hecht. Great save by Price.

    Another solid hit by O’Byrne on Pominville.

    Grabovski good work on the boards out to Higgins. Save Miller.

    Buffalo outshot Montreal 10-5. Good period by Price, Grabovski (including faceoffs) and O’Byrne.

    2nd period:

    Quirky goal. Puck in off Higgins. Goal credited to Stafford. Buffalo leads 1-0.
    Shots favor Sabres 15-6.


    Ryder pushed into Sabre defense and net. Penalty to Ryder for interference. Terrible call.

    Price deflects pass in front to point. Stick save Price. Price pokes puck away. Kovalev and Plekanec tired and standing around. Hecht wacks away at the puck. More saves by Price. Price has killed off penalty all by himself. Unbelievable!

    Andrei K dragged down from behind. No call. Shots 18-6 for Sabres.
    Habs called for too many men.

    Penalty on Sekera for closing his hand on the puck. 4 on 4.
    Higgins highsticks Roy. No call.

    Lydman drives to the net but Price holds the goal-line.

    Plekanec to Gorges heading to the net. Gorges is grabbed and dragged into the net with Miller. No call.
    Kovalev penalty for holding the stick. Refs have lost it!

    Good PK work by Grabovski.
    Terrific glove save by Price shot by Stafford through Bernier screen. Shots 22-9 for Sabres.

    Good work by O’Byrne to clear Bernier from the front of the net.

    Vanek penalty for interference on Kostopoulos. Ineffective Canadiens PP.

    Pominville skates through crease and knocks Price’s mask off with an elbow. No call. No reaction by Canadiens. Really need Komisarek back. Shots 25-9 for Sabres.

    Shot by Bernier. Save by Price. Swept to the goal by Gaustad. Great save Price. Another save by Price. Price is sensational!!

    Grabovski to Higgins for one-timer. Save Miller.

    Kovalev pass to Grabovski. Great pass back to Kovy who scores top shelf. Game tied 1-1.

    Price has been unbelievable and has carried the Canadiens for 2 periods. Sabres outshooting Canadiens 27-13.

    3rd period:

    Hamrlik to Higgins on breakaway. Two good saves by Miller.

    Gaustad and Bernier too much in front of the net for Gorges and Markov to handle.

    Roy easily around Lapierre who is playing the puck not the man.

    Hamrlik fell. Kovalev and Lapierre both wave at the puck. No one takes the man. Paetsch scores. Buffalo leads 2-1.

    After play is over, Begin knocks over Kaleta. Fortunate that no penalty is called. Selfish play by Begin.

    Streit muffs easy clear then gives it away to Pominville who passes it out to Paille. He scores with a one-timer from the slot with no Canadien covering. Sabres lead 3-1. Brutal play by Streit.

    Another big hit by O’Byrne. He needs more minutes on the ice.

    Hamrlik carries across the blueline and is tripped by Kotalik.
    Habs PP. Shot from Streit at the point deflected by Plekanec. Sabres lead 3-2. Just over two minutes left.

    Price to bench with a minute left. Icing by Sabres, Streit is slow to get back.
    Streit with a shot from the point. Plekanec fishes it out and scores on the backhand. Game tied 3-3. 14 seconds left.

    Sabres outshooting Montreal 38-27.

    Overtime:

    Plekanec around defense. Save by Miller.

    Higgins scores with assist to Streit!! Habs win 4-3!!!

    Rocket’s 3 stars:

    1. Carey Price
    2. Thomas Plekanec
    3. Derek Roy

    (photo credit: AP Photo/Don Heupel)