Overreactions with 68 to go: Neuvirth shines in shootout loss to Habs

458483678_slideFor 60 minutes, fans were treated to some of the most monotonous, unremarkable hockey that has been played in First Niagara Center, which is saying a lot.

But five thrilling minutes of four-on-four hockey weren’t enough to decide the game, and thanks to a skills competition, Montreal walked out of Buffalo with two points after handing them a 2-1 shootout loss.

Drew Stafford scored the only goal for Buffalo, but goaltender Michal Neuvirth was sensational all night. While the Habs struggled to get shots on goal early, Neuvirth was sharp all night, stopping 31 of 32 shots, including 16 of 17 over the final 25 minutes.

Montreal’s Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau scored both in regulation and in the shootout to propel the Canadiens to the win.

Buffalo now faces a weekend back-to-back where they host Edmonton and Pittsburgh on Friday and Saturday.

  • This might’ve been Brian Gionta’s best game as a Sabre. Facing his former team, he didn’t tally a point but did manage to score in the shootout. He was noticeable, much more noticeable than he has been.
  • Good for Nic Deslauriers stepping up to scrap and try to make an impression. He got fed some fists to the face, but you appreciate the effort.
  • Tyler Myers was credited with the primary assist on the Stafford goal. Great work by him taking the puck himself, trying to deke through his own teammate Tyler Ennis, and losing control of the puck in such a way that it coasted right through a defenseman to Stafford on the doorstep. They all look the same in the boxscore.
  • You know who hasn’t been missed? Marcus Foligno.
  • Makes sense that despite this team being a hot garbage with a terrible roster, the goaltending has been pretty good. Neuvirth has been especially sharp of late, to an extent where he’s stealing time from Jhonas Enroth, who hasn’t been poor at all. Good problem to have, I guess. They’ll both be unrestricted at the end of the season.
  • Lots of Habs fans in the building. Attendance was officially 17,837, for a Wednesday night against a Canadian division rival. Especially weak.
  • Andrej Meszaros may have been the best move Tim Murray has made as general manager. That man will assist with the tank more than we could’ve ever expected. He had a few shifts in the third that were just terrible beyond words. No way he stays in the lineup for Friday, but he’s going to play enough this year that it’ll help.

3MI Three Star Selections
1. P.A. Parenteau, Montreal
2. Michal Neuvirth, Buffalo
3. Dustin Tokarski, Montreal

Official Three Stars of the Game
1. P.A. Parenteau, Montreal (Goal (3), GDG)
2. Michal Neuvirth, Buffalo (31 saves, 1 GA)
3. Dustin Tokarski, Montreal (31 saves, 1 GA)

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Posted on November 6, 2014, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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