HabsWorld.net -- 

For the third consecutive game between the Canadiens and the Sabres, the Sabres scored two power play goals en route to marginal victories. This particular game was decided after Saku Koivu and Steve Begin committed late penalties in the final minute of regulation to forego a 2-man advantage to the Sabres to begin the overtime session. Only 30 seconds into the two man advantage Maxim Afinogenov potted his second power play goal of the game to wrap up the game for his team.


Undisciplined or Inconsistent


Last night, Montreal was penalized seven times while Buffalo players were only sent to the sin bin on three occasions. Although the refereeing was slightly inconsistent, the players in the NHL have now had over four months to adjust to the new rule changes therefore they are well aware when they are performing an illegal act. Secondly with the two-referee system there is usually inconsistency because although they use the same rules and guidelines perception and position is everything. That said recently Montreal seems to lack the discipline to not take minor penalties, in their last 10 games,  they have earned at least five minor penalties.  Furthermore, in eight of those ten games the Canadiens took more than 5 penalties.



Goaltending Duel (continued)


Ryan Miller and Cristobal Huet played to a draw through three periods both coming up with 30 of 32 saves. Ryan Miller’s club locked up the victory after Cristobal Huet came up with a spectacular save on Chris Drury which the rebound found Maxim Afinogenov’s stick and he potted the puck into virtually an empty net. The first goal of the game came on the Sabres third power play when Afinogenov cut to the front of the net from the corner to Huet right and slipped a back hand shot short side to provide the Sabres with the first lead of the game. The Canadiens first goal came on a Sabres power play as well when Tomas Plekanec carried the puck out of the Canadiens zone and proceeded to fed Chris Higgins a spectacular saucer pass which Higgins roofed over a diving Ryan Miller. With only six seconds remaining in the second period Derek Roy used his excellent hand eye coordination to deflect a point shot from Brian Campbell past a sprawling Huet. The Sabres held the lead until less then four minutes remaining in the third period when Mike Ribero picked the puck up inside the Canadiens zone and fired a long pass which Alex Kovalev picked up inside the Sabres blue line cut to the net and beat Ryan Miller with an excellent shot just inside the left post. Less then two minutes later the Canadiens earned only their third power play of the game. On that power play Michael Ryder seemed to have given the Canadiens the late third period lead but as soon as Ryder raised his arms in celebration Don Koharski waived the goal off believing Ryder illegally directed the puck in with his hand, video replay agreed with Koharski’s original decision. As you already know the Canadiens proceeded to negate their power play with two penalties of their own which gift-wrapped the game for Ryan Miller and the Sabres.