for this game

Hamrlik snaps tie as Canadiens top Sabres

Oct 21, 2007 - 3:47 AM
By Mark Lidbetter PA Sportsticker Contributing Writer

MONTREAL (Ticker) -- The Montreal Canadiens finally gave their home crowd something to cheer about.

Blue-liner Roman Hamrlik scored the game-winning goal and set up two others as the Canadiens managed to get their first victory at home and snap an overall three-game skid with a 4-2 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

"Playing at home, it's always good for the fans to see a win," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. "All I wanted was the two points, it didn't matter if it was Los Angeles or anywhere else. We've played well with no results for it."

During a 5-on-3 advantage, Hamrlik tallied his first goal of the season with 7:22 left in the third period to put Montreal in front.

Hamrlik fired a blast from the point, which went wide of the net but caromed off the end boards. The puck went in front of the net, where it deflected off defenseman Toni Lydman and in behind goaltender Ryan Miller to give the Canadiens a 3-2 advantage.

"The league should look at the trampolines they installed here (in the new boards)," Miller said. "I'll know better next time, but it wouldn't change my mind about the way I challenged. It was 5-on-3, I decided to go for the point shot, we had good coverage on my backside and it hit Toni in the skate."

"As a team, we are happy to have two points," Hamrlik said. "We stayed with the plan and played 60 minutes tonight. It's unbelievable to play here, the fans are so great."

The goal, which was reviewed and was upheld by the video replay, originally was credited to Christopher Higgins.

Higgins sealed the win with 25 seconds remaining, sending a wrist shot from the top of the right faceoff circle into an empty net.

"We got the win, and that's all that matters," Higgins said. "We were really concerned about getting the first (home win) off our backs. We've played well in this building and have had nothing to show for it. We finally got a couple of bounces and (netminder Cristobal) Huet played well and closed the door to get us the win at home."

Montreal opened the scoring at 2:34 of the first period with a power-play goal by Bryan Smolinski.

With Buffalo defenseman Henrik Tallinder in the penalty box, rookie Mikhail Grabovski carried the puck into the offensive zone and dropped a pass to Hamrlik at the left point. Hamrlik fired a shot wide, and the puck bounced off the end boards to Smolinski, who buried it before Miller could react.

The Sabres rattled the Canadiens with a pair of goals in a nine-second span in the second period to take a 2-1 advantage.

Paul Gaustad knotted the game during a man advantage when he worked along the left wing boards and fired an ice-level shot from the top of the faceoff circle that found enough room between the left post and Huet's outstretched pad at 4:12.

After the ensuing faceoff, the Sabres stormed right back in as Thomas Vanek took control of the puck and sent a pass to Derek Roy, who was camped at the left post. Roy one-timed the puck into the net at 4:21 for his fifth goal and a 2-1 lead.

"We know we're going to lose games, but it was a tough loss because of the bounces," Roy said. "It's good when they go your way, but when they aren't, you go, 'Why me?' We played well, the penalty-killing did a good job forcing (the Canadiens) to shoot wide, but they got that bounce."

Rookie Kyle Chipchura netted his first career goal less than three minutes later to pull the Canadiens even.

From along the right wing boards, the 21-year-old Chipchura turned at the top of he faceoff circle and snapped a shot toward a partially screened Miller, who could not prevent the puck from sailing inside the left post at 7:10.

"Right now, we're finding ways to lose games, when last year we were finding ways to win them," Miller said. "Guys better not start feeling sorry for themselves. It's the National Hockey League, and you've got to fight every night for it and go for it."

Buffalo nearly pulled ahead, but captain Jochen Hecht rattled a deflection off the left post with 5:24 remaining in the second.

Huet finished with 25 saves for the Canadiens.

"I wasn't challenged at the start and I had to stay ready," Huet said. "I had a good night and was lucky a couple of times. One hit my shoulder. The important thing is, we got the win."

Miller turned aside 23 shots as the Sabres lost on back-to-back nights for the second time this season. Buffalo dropped a 3-0 decision to Columbus at home on Friday.

"The last 40 minutes, we played well," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "I don't quite think we had our legs underneath us (in the first). We didn't get to places quick enough, we had a couple of shifts that were very sporadic. And then in the second, we got to places a lot quicker."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 2 0 2
    MONTREAL 1 1 2 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) BRYAN SMOLINSKI 1 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, MIKHAIL
    GRABOVSKI) 2:34
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) PAUL GAUSTAD 1 (TIM CONNOLLY, BRIAN CAMPBELL)
    4:12
    BUF - DEREK ROY 5 (THOMAS VANEK) 4:21
    MON - KYLE CHIPCHURA 1 (UNASSISTED) 7

    Oct 20 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    MONTREAL 4
    3RD PRD: MON - (EN) CHRIS HIGGINS 3 (ROMAN HAMRLIK) 19:35

    Sabres vs. CanadiensOct 20 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    MONTREAL 3
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 2 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, MARK STREIT) 12:38

    Sabres vs. CanadiensOct 20 9:23 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 2 2
    MONTREAL 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) BRYAN SMOLINSKI 1 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, MIKHAIL
    GRABOVSKI) 2:34
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) PAUL GAUSTAD 1 (TIM CONNOLLY, BRIAN CAMPBELL)
    4:12
    BUF - DEREK ROY 5 (THOMAS VANEK) 4:21
    MON - KYLE CHIPCHURA 1 (

    Oct 20 8:42 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    MONTREAL 2
    2ND PRD: MON - KYLE CHIPCHURA 1 (UNASSISTED) 7:10

    Sabres vs. CanadiensOct 20 8:18 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - DEREK ROY 5 (THOMAS VANEK) 4:21

    Sabres vs. CanadiensOct 20 8:13 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) PAUL GAUSTAD 1 (TIM CONNOLLY, BRIAN CAMPBELL) 4:12

    Sabres vs. CanadiensOct 20 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0
    MONTREAL 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) BRYAN SMOLINSKI 1 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, MIKHAIL
    GRABOVSKI) 2:34
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 7 7
    MON 12 12
    GOALIES: BUF - RYA

    Oct 20 7:45 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 0
    MONTREAL 1
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) BRYAN SMOLINSKI 1 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, MIKHAIL
    GRABOVSKI) 2:34

    Sabres vs. CanadiensOct 20 7:17 PM
  • 10
    roots
    munson Added 5 roots

    Sabres vs. CanadiensOct 20 11:30 AM
  • 5
    roots
    anorexicivan Added 5 roots

    Sabres vs. CanadiensOct 19 3:06 PM