Posted March 20, 2012 on
AP on Fox
New York Islanders
The Buffalo Sabres have won four of the season's five meetings with the Montreal Canadiens.
The one loss, however, may have been a blessing in disguise as it seems to have sparked their playoff push.
The surging Sabres look to pull into a tie for points with the Eastern Conference's eighth-place team when they host the Canadiens on Wednesday night in the final meeting between these Northeast Division rivals.
A 4-3 shootout loss to Montreal at home Feb. 17 marked a fourth straight defeat for Buffalo (34-29-10) and dropped it into a tie for last place in the East, nine points out of a playoff spot. Following the game, coach Lindy Ruff said he felt "disappointed" and "embarrassed."
The Sabres have responded by going 10-2-3 since to move within two points of eighth-place Washington, which will have played one fewer game than Buffalo when it takes the ice Thursday.
"Getting closer to where we want to be is fun," forward Jason Pominville said after Monday's 7-3 win over Tampa Bay. "That's what it's all about, so we'll try to keep climbing, and we're slowly getting to where we want to be."
Pominville and Marcus Foligno each scored twice against the Lightning, while Drew Stafford, Corey Tropp and Brad Boyes also had goals in Buffalo's highest-scoring game of the season.
Pominville, Buffalo's leader with 27 goals and 39 assists, has four goals and three assists in his last seven games. Foligno, meanwhile, has been a surprising offensive catalyst over the last week.
Since being called up from the minors, Foligno has five goals and two assists in five games, with the Sabres earning a point in each (3-0-2).
That stretch includes a 3-2 overtime win over the Canadiens (28-32-13) on March 12. Buffalo allowed David Desharnais to score the tying goal with five seconds left in regulation, but Tyler Myers scored 2:01 into overtime.
Earlier in the game, Myers struck a defenseless Scott Gomez into the boards and received a minor boarding penalty. The following day, Myers was suspended three games without pay for that hit and this will be his first contest back. Gomez was diagnosed with a concussion and hasn't played since.
Tyler Ennis scored Buffalo's other two goals in last week's meeting and Ryan Miller stopped 26 shots to help the Sabres beat the Canadiens for the seventh time in eight games.
Miller, who is 7-1-2 with a 2.15 goals-against average and two shutouts in his last 10 starts, is 5-0-1 with a 1.31 GAA and a shutout in his past six versus Montreal.
The 2010 Vezina Trophy winner has had to be on top of his game against the Canadiens because counterpart Carey Price has been almost as good. Price has a 1.94 GAA in his last seven starts against the Sabres but is 1-3-3.
Price, who is 3-6-1 with a 2.77 GAA in his last 10 starts, is expected to be in net Wednesday after getting the night off in Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Islanders.
Aaron Palushaj recorded his first NHL goal and Louis Leblanc also scored for Montreal, which has collected points in six straight games (3-0-3) but is still in last place in the East.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Buffalo, NY - It was a night of milestones for the Buffalo Sabres. Cody Hodgson recorded his first two goals as a Sabre, Christian Ehrhoff earned his 200th career assist, and Derek Roy moved into sole possesion of ninth all-time in assists in Sabres franchise history. Oh yeah, and they took care of the Montreal Canadians 3-0 to move into a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference...
Cody Hodgson scored his first two goals with his new team and Ryan Miller turned aside all 34 shots he faced as the Buffalo Sabres pulled into a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a 3-0 victory over the visiting Montreal Canadiens. Captain Jason Pominville netted his team-leading 28th goal and Derek Roy notched a pair of assists for the Sabres, who have won eight...
Goalie Ryan Miller was perfect. Newcomer Cody Hodgson finally got on the board with Buffalo. And the Sabres have inched themselves to within a sniff of playoff contention.
Before anyone got too excited over the Sabres' 3-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night, Miller provided a few cautionary words of perspective.
''I'm not going to say I'm not...
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Marcus Foligno and Jason Pominville each scored twice and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-3 Monday night.
Foligno had two of Buffalo's four second-period goals, helping the Sabres take a 6-2 lead. Pominville scored in the first as the Sabres went up 2-0, and made it 7-2 on a goal 17 seconds into the third.
Drew Stafford, Corey Tropp and...
Tune into Sun Sports at 7 p.m. to watch the Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Buffalo Sabres. NHL Lightning territory.
The Buffalo Sabres have missed out on chances to boost their playoff hopes in each of the past two games, but could have a better opportunity to help themselves in their next one against a struggling opponent.
The visiting Sabres, though, have yet to earn a point...
Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier today announced that the team has signed forward Phil Varone to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Varone (5â10â, 186 lbs., 12/4/90) currently leads the Rochester Americans (AHL) with 43 points (8+35) and two shorthanded goals in 63 games this season. His 35 assists rank him fourth among all AHL rookies and tie for 15th-most...
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail, Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, turns out that Martin Leclerc of Radio-Canada.ca and NHL.com is the first off the mark with news that a deal is done between the Montreal Canadiens and former Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy that will see the fiery Quebec Remparts owner/coach/GM take over the Habs’ reins next fall.
Since when were the LA Kings and Buffalo Sabres in the playoff mix?If you looked at the standings last month, you would not have found the Kings or the Sabres anywhere near the playoff picture. Today, they sit on the cusp of the post season, and while there is still a lot to be settled in the last 10 games of the season, both clubs are clearly still in control of their playoff destinies...
According to Patrice Brisebois, now of TVA Sport, Scott Gomez eagerly awaits a buyout at the end of the season and hopes to have another chance with the New Jersey Devils. I can't fathom how that would possibly be the best option for the Canadiens, unless the renegotiation of the CBA allows teams to buy players out in a short window, without cap implication. With the players...
Ryan Miller made 34 saves for a career-high sixth shutout this season and the Buffalo Sabres continued their late-season push for a playoff spot with a 3-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.
Cody Hodgson scored twice and Jason Pominville once to help the Sabres improve to 11-2-4 in their past 17 games and catch the eighth-place Washington Capitals in the Eastern...
Sabres just ended their skate.
Derek Roy and Brad Boyes were missing in action, and, Pat Kaleta was rocking the red "don't screw with me sweater".
Travis Turnbull wasn't called up to watch tonight's game. I'm thinking Lindy called him up to defend against any and all Montreal shenanigans, in light of last Monday's Tyler Myers hit on Scott Gomez...
At least Until End of Year
The Montreal Canadiens are caught between a rock and a hard place at the moment.
They need to make changes, quite a few of them to be honest, but they also have to realize that, having waited this long and come this far, they will be better off waiting until the end of the regular season before going forward with any major changes.
"I'm happy to do whatever I can tyo help this team win games and earn points right now", Cody Hodgson told me this morning after the Buffalo skate. He told me that he is relieved that he was able to contribute two assists in the 7-3 Tampa victory.
"Anything I can do to contribute, and everyone in here is thinking the same way", CoHo told me.