Sabres’ Ryan Miller and Tim Connolly defend on a
backhand shot by Canadiens’ Marc-André Wednesday night. Rick
• At a Glance: The Canadiens had played the perfect game – until Ryan O’Byrne took a penalty with 3:33 to play in the third period that opened the floodgates for the Buffalo Sabres, who would eventually win 3-2 in a shootout. Trailing 2-0, the Sabres pulled goalie Ryan Miller and enjoyed a 6-on-4 man advantage that cost the Canadiens. Tim Connolly would eventually put one past Carey Price on a rebound after a shot from the point was blocked. Price, making his first start since being pulled in Anaheim during the four-game road trip after the Olympic break, had been solid up to that point and could not be faulted on the goal. After play resumed, Miller again headed to the bench and the Sabres tied it 2-2 with 48 seconds to play when Steve Montador pushed home the puck during a mad scramble in front of Price, who stopped 40 of 42 shots in 65 minutes of play. The game marked the return of Michael Cammalleri and Marc-André Bergeron, who had been out of the lineup with knee injuries. Cammalleri didn’t waste time making an impact as his work helped set up Andrei Kostitsyn’s goal only 41 seconds into the game. Tomas Plekanec, the third member of the line, fed Kostitsyn through Ryan Miller’s crease for an easy tap in. Kostitsyn scored his second of the game in the second period, 4:57 into the frame with the Canadiens on the power play. Kostitsyn took a pass in the slot and fired a wrist shot through Miller’s legs.
• Key Moments: Montreal killed off a four-minute minor to Benoit Pouliot for high sticking that spanned the end of the second period and first minute of the third. But all that was for not as the Sabres took advantage of the O’Byrne penalty to start their comeback.
• What It Means: The Canadiens drop to 36-30-8 for 80 points, moving them into sixth position in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Flyers, who have a game in hand.
• What’s Next: Montreal is back home on Thursday night to take on the Florida Panthers. The Devils visit the Bell Centre on Saturday and the Hurricanes are in town next Wednesday to wrap up March.