Canadiens
Sabres
1 - 2 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Miller, Sabres thwart Canadiens

Oct 11, 2008 - 4:22 AM BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- Ryan Miller was perfect in the shootout and Ales Kotalik and Drew Stafford scored in the first two rounds of the bonus format as the Buffalo Sabres started the Montreal Canadiens' 100th campaign on the wrong foot with a 2-1 triumph on Friday.

Thomas Vanek tallied in the first period and Miller made 27 saves for Buffalo, which improved to 21-14-3 in season-opening contests.

Robert Lang also scored in the first session and Carey Price turned aside 35 shots for the Canadiens, who fell to 48-26-17 in season openers.

Kotalik and Stafford used identical approaches in the shootout as they both deked Price to the ice before backhanding the puck under the crossbar.

"It's a lottery," Kotalik said of his shootout goal. "You get on a roll, pucks are going in."

"Price was going down and I kind of saw something. I really didn't know what I was going to do," Stafford said. "I just waited until I got down there. I tried to make a move. I got lucky, snuck it in. Same move, I don't know if that's going to work next time."

Price offered no excuses after allowing the pair of shootout goals, but the 21-year-old was less than pleased with his surroundings.

"The ice wasn't that great out there," Price said. "You could see the puck bouncing around. It was pretty choppy. It was a pretty choppy game overall. It's tough, but we'll rebound after this one."

For his part, Miller made a left pad save on Lang in the first round of the shootout before denying captain Saku Koivu to seal the win.

"It's a good way to open to the season against a really good offense. We played a really sound game," Miller said. "They had a few looks, but I could see the puck most of the night. In the shootout, I tried to make the best read possible."

"We've implemented that as part of practice," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said of the shootout. "We've had a couple of belts every day, trying to stimulate game situations. It was great to see Ryan make the saves and was great to see Stafford and Kotalik score."

Miller also made a number of point-blank saves - including a pair on defenseman Roman Hamrlik with one minute remaining in overtime - to keep the game even.

Lang opened the scoring just 2:58 into the contest, when he collected the puck in the right faceoff circle and unleashed a shot past Miller for his 235th career goal - and first in a Montreal uniform. The 37-year-old Lang recorded 21 tallies with the Chicago Blackhawks last season.

"It's a lot nicer to do it that way than wait nine or 10 games, so I was happy," Lang said. "I thought we played a solid game. Unfortunately, in the shootout, they were better than us. I think, overall, we had some good stuff that happened."

Vanek leveled the game nearly five minutes later.

After defenseman Mike Komisarek turned over the puck in the neutral zone, Vanek carried it on a 2-on-1 rush and wristed it past Price to forge a 1-1 tie.

Although his team was victorious, Vanek lamented the club's lost chances.

"Disappointing. We had some chances, but overall, we have to get better, move the puck a little quicker," Vanek said. "We didn't get many shots on net."

Vanek was not the only one concerned about his team's performance.

"Teams are going to be focused and prepared when they play (us)," Koivu said. "But rather than looking at how the other team (is) going to be playing, we didn't play as well as we can.

"We weren't making plays, the quick pass like we usually do, and turn the puck into the transition game. We have to keep working on things, but at the same time, we know we have to play better."








  • NHL
    FINAL IN SHOOTOUT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 0 0 0 (0) 1
    BUFFALO 1 0 0 0 (2) 2 FINAL IN SHOOTOUT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - ROBERT LANG 1 (TOM KOSTOPOULOS, ANDREI MARKOV) 2:58
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 1 (TEPPO NUMMINEN, TONI LYDMAN) 7:40
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: NONE
    OT: NONE
    SO: BUF - ALES KOTAL

    Canadiens 1, Sabres 2  Final - 2OTOct 10 10:16 PM


  • NHL
    END OF OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 0 0 0 1
    BUFFALO 1 0 0 0 1 END OF OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - ROBERT LANG 1 (TOM KOSTOPOULOS, ANDREI MARKOV) 2:58
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 1 (TEPPO NUMMINEN, TONI LYDMAN) 7:40
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: NONE
    OT: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST

    Oct 10 10:11 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 27 roots (Overtime)

    Canadiens 1, Sabres 1  OT - 4:55Oct 10 10:02 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 0 0 1
    BUFFALO 1 0 0 1 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - ROBERT LANG 1 (TOM KOSTOPOULOS, ANDREI MARKOV) 2:58
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 1 (TEPPO NUMMINEN, TONI LYDMAN) 7:40
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- --

    Oct 10 10:01 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 40 roots (Overtime)

    Canadiens 1, Sabres 1  End of Reg.Oct 10 10:01 PM
  • 87
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    RUWTbot Added 57 roots (Close Finish)

    Canadiens 1, Sabres 1  3rd - 2:42Oct 10 9:55 PM
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    Canadiens 1, Sabres 1  3rd - 7:09Oct 10 9:47 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 0 1
    BUFFALO 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - ROBERT LANG 1 (TOM KOSTOPOULOS, ANDREI MARKOV) 2:58
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 1 (TEPPO NUMMINEN, TONI LYDMAN) 7:40
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 7

    Oct 10 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 1
    BUFFALO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - ROBERT LANG 1 (TOM KOSTOPOULOS, ANDREI MARKOV) 2:58
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 1 (TEPPO NUMMINEN, TONI LYDMAN) 7:40
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 7 7


    Oct 10 8:17 PM
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    Canadiens 1, Sabres 1  1st - 2:57Oct 10 8:13 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    BUFFALO 1
    1ST PRD: BUF - THOMAS VANEK 1 (TEPPO NUMMINEN) 7:40

    Canadiens 1, Sabres 1  1st - 12:20Oct 10 8:00 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    BUFFALO 0
    1ST PRD: MON - ROBERT LANG 1 (TOM KOSTOPOULOS, ANDREI MARKOV) 2:58

    Canadiens 1, Sabres 0  1st - 17:02Oct 10 7:52 PM
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    Canadiens vs. SabresOct 2 11:18 PM
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    Canadiens vs. SabresSep 27 9:16 PM