Sabres Re-Capture Division Lead: Buffalo 6, Montreal 2

Steve BukowskiContributor IDecember 3, 2009

TORONTO - NOVEMBER 30:  Phil Kessel #81 of the Toronto Maple Leafs looks for an opening on Ryan Miller #30 of the Buffalo Sabres during game action November 30, 2009 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

In a huge divisional match-up, the Buffalo Sabres lit up the Montreal Canadiens 6 times en route to a 6-2 win over the Habs at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York.

Buffalo opened the scoring a little more than 2 minutes into the game with Clarke MacArthur's eighth goal of the season. Pominville and Roy both added goals before the halfway point in the first period to propel the Sabres to a 3-0 lead over the defenseless Canadiens.

In the first period, Buffalo's Ryan Miller blocked all 3 Montreal shots on goal. Montreal's Halak blocked 12 of 15.

The Sabres came out swinging again the second period and Buffalo native Tim Kennedy put the puck past Halak to gain the 4-0 advantage. Montreal answered back later in the the period with a wrist-shot goal by Scott Gomez.

Montreal increased their shots on goal by 2 for the second period, placing 5 shots on Miller. The Sabres bombarded Halak with 14 shots on goal.

The third period would see another Montreal goal, by Josh Gorges, halving Buffalo's lead to 4-2. The Sabres' powerful offensive efforts would strike two more times with goals by Andrej Sekera and Mike Grier, giving the game its 6-2 final score.

Montreal's total shots on goal was 23, while Buffalo bombarded Halak with 37 shots.


The game had a relatively low number of penalties (5, with Montreal taking 3, Buffalo taking 2) including offsetting 5-minute majors for fighting to Patrick Kaleta (surprise.) and Paul Mara. 

Keeping in suit with the majority of the season, 6 different Buffalo players found the back of the net. The same thing occurred in the Sabres' 5-1 rout of the Carolina Hurricanes last Saturday.

Clarke MacArthur is now tied with Thomas Vanek for the most goals scored this season, with 8. Vanek continues to disappoint so far this season, with the superstar aspirations for him quickly slipping away.  4 Sabres (Roy, Pominville, Connolly, and Gaustad) are tied with 6 goals apiece. Drew Stafford has scored 7.

The Sabres' recent offensive flurry, scoring 18 goals in their last 4 games, has pushed Buffalo to the #16 spot in the "goals for" column, with 70.

Also, with the win tonight, Buffalo pulls ahead of the Boston Bruins for the division lead. Buffalo now has 34 points, Boston has 33 (but has also played 2 more games than Buffalo). Ottawa has 30 points, Montreal has 26, and Toronto brings up the rear with 23 points.


Buffalo next faces Conference rival New York (Rangers) on Saturday, Dec 5 at HSBC Arena, in Game 4 of their 7-game homestand to kick off December.