Canadiens vs. Sabres Recap: Miller and Hodgson Lead Sabres To Victory

Mar 21, 2012; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Cody Hodgson (19) celebrates his second goal of the night against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period at the First Niagara Center. Sabres beat the Canadiens 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

The Buffalo Sabres needed to keep winning to keep themselves alive in the playoff hunt and they did just that with Ryan Miller's sixth shutout of the season, a 3-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

The first period saw Cody Hodgson score his first goal as a Buffalo Sabre with a wraparound goal that bounced off goaltender Carey Price. The goal was Hodgson's 17th on the season and was assisted by Corey Tropp and Christian Ehrhoff. With Ehrhoff's assist, it gave the defenseman 200 career points. The goal also gave the Sabres 28 different goal scorers on the season, one behind the league leading Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Canadiens looked like the better team in the first period with 15 shots on goal compared to the Sabres 10 and a handful more scoring chances than the Sabres. Miller made some solid saves in the period to keep the team while Carey Price had just the one goal. Lindy expressed how bad

The second period saw Jason Pominville find a loose puck in a crowd in front of the net and put it past Carey Price. Assists on the goal came from Ville Leino and Derek Roy. The Sabres were able to outshoot the Canadiens 11-7 in the period.

The third saw more of the same from the Sabres from what they had in the second period. Cody Hodgson scored his second goal of the game, which was the first time he did so since January 12th vs. the San Jose Sharks. Assists on the goal when to Roy and Vanek. The second Roy assist passed Mike Foligno for ninth all-time on the franchise assist leader list.

Ryan Miller made 34 saves for the Sabres in the shutout. This shutout was his sixth of the season which is a career high and puts him tied for third in the league in shutouts. At the opposite end of the ice, Carey Price made 28 saves in the losing effort. The Canadiens did try to shake things up by pulling the goaltender with 3:30 left in the game but it was ultimately thwarted by late penalties. "I thought we would catch them a little off guard. I think we were ready for it, our goalie was ready for it, and I thought we would get some sustained pressure from that," said coach Randy Cunneyworth after the game.

More thoughts after the jump.

- Travis Turnbull made his NHL debut to replace the injured Patrick Kaleta. He played a team low 6:14 but still managed to lead the team in hits with 3. Turnbull really didn't stand out but did play a sound game for his first overall game. Ruff mentioned after the game that it he wanted to get other players out more for the reason for Turnbull's low ice time.

-This last win finishes the Sabres season series with the Montreal Canadiens. The season series finished with a 5-0-1 record for the Sabres and Buffalo has an 8-0-1 record against Montreal dating back to November 27, 2010.

With the win the Sabres are tied with the Washington Capitals for the 8th and final spot in the Eastern Conference. They are also four points back of the Ottawa Senators who sit in 7th. Buffalo now heads to New York to take on the Rangers at Madison Square Garden and then come back home for a matchup against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night. As part of scoreboard watching, the Washington Capitals take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night before heading back home to face the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night.

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