The Montreal Canadiens gave a spirited effort in a 3-2 overtime loss to the streaking Buffalo Sabres. The Canadiens came out flying and if not for the excellent goaltending of U.S Olympian Ryan Miller, the outcome may have been far different. Cristobal Huet also performed well in the Montreal net and gave the Habs a chance to stay in the game. A miraculous save in the 5-3 O.T was not enough and an unlucky bounce gave Maxim Afinogenov an open net.
Ryan Miller was great in the net. Where did this guy come from? The Sabres are a real sleeper team in the East and expect them to contend deep into the playoffs.
The officiating was noticeably bad for the first time in many games. Bad for both teams but worse for the Canadiens. Saku Koivu’s overtime penalty however, was inexcusable. That lead to a 5-3 in overtime against the league’s top powerplay. That usually spells bad news, and it did.
The Canadiens managed to keep the game close and then Alex Kovalev did what he’s paid to do and buried a scoring chance late in the 3rd to tie the game. The Habs haven’t been able to stay in games for 60 minutes and come back late, which is a great sign. Overall the Canadiens played a strong game but against a strong team and fell a little short.
Michael Ryder had what appeared to be the go ahead goal on
his stick his hand late in the 3rd which could have sealed it for the Habs. Apparently Ryder humped the puck into the net as the gyrations Don Koharski performed with his hips numerous times indicated his opinion pretty clearly. Ryder had to re-enact Koharski’s gesticulations for Jose Theodore on the bench. Maybe Jose’s looking for some new moves to use out in the club.
The puck did touch Ryder’s glove after rebounding into the air off Ryan Miller’s stick and rightfully it was no goal. A little bad luck.
The rookies performed well. Tomas Plekanec made a brilliant flip pass after nearly over skating the puck ona 2-1. Chris Higgins buried it. Alex Perezhogin, the kid has some wheels. Perezhogin was a dangerous threat the whole game and you get the impression that it’s just a matter of time before he breaks out.
The Canadiens remain 1 point out of the 8th spot in the East and travel to Buffalo for another tough game. If Theo gets another chance to start it’ll be this game.