|Date of game: 3/21/2012
Recap: Buffalo vs. Montreal
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Ryan Miller posted 34 stops to record his sixth shutout of the season and 28th of his career as the Buffalo Sabres picked up two crucial points with a 3-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at First Niagara Center on Wednesday.
Cody Hodgson scored twice, Jason Pominville lit the lamp, and Derek Roy added two assists for the Sabres, who have won two straight and pulled even with eighth-place Washington with 80 points. The Capitals, however, remain in the final playoff spot by virtue of a tiebreaker.
"We've put together a good run to get where we're at," Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff said. "We know there's a tough schedule ahead of us, but it's rewarding to get as close as we've gotten right now."
Carey Price was tagged for all three goals on 31 shots in defeat for the Canadiens.
Buffalo opened the scoring at 6:15 of the first period. Hodgson gained the offensive blue line on the right wing, worked his way through checkers and brought the puck around behind the net. He went for the wrap-around and banked it off the right leg of Price and in.
The Sabres extended their lead to 2-0 just 2:31 into the second period after Andrej Sekera ripped a shot on net from the point that was stopped by Price, but he left the rebound out front and Pominville swooped in and backhanded it home.
Skating on the man advantage, the Sabres capped the scoring at 12:45 of the third period with some excellent passing.
Roy cruised through the neutral zone and dished to Thomas Vanek on the right wing. Roy got the puck back from Vanek along the goal line and sent a perfect pass right to the tape of Hodgson, who snapped it past Price from in close.
Miller made 12 saves in the third period to keep the struggling Canadiens off the board.
"We had a good start, despite the goal against," Canadiens head coach Randy Cunneyworth said. "We generated some offensive opportunities in the first (period) and took our foot off the pedal in the second. I thought we let them right back into the game and we had the momentum despite being down a goal. We just need to have a better start."Game Notes
Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers returned from a three-game suspension and was a plus-1 in just under 21 minutes of ice time...Buffalo improved to 28-3-2 when allowing two or fewer goals and 26-4-4 when scoring three or more...The Sabres improved to 8-2-1 in their last 11 games against the Canadiens and upped their mark to 12-5-4 against the Northeast Division this season...Hodgson's first- period goal was his first in a Buffalo uniform...The Sabres went 1-for-6 with the man advantage, while the Canadiens failed to score with two power-play opportunities.