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All Ott in overtime

Steve Ott opened up the scoring in the first and shut things down in overtime, scoring two goals in Buffalo’s 3-2 win over Montreal at the Bell Centre on Tuesday.

Ott, who was promoted to the top line with Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville, showed why he got bumped up as he put the Sabres on the board with a slapshot at 7:47 in the opening period.

Tyler Ennis extended Buffalo’s lead to two with just over a minute left in the first period. Tyler Myers fired a cannon from the blue line, but Ennis got a piece of it and was credited with the goal.

The second period remained scoreless even though the Canadiens controlled play and outshot the Sabres 11-2.

The Sabres weren’t so lucky in the final twenty as Montreal continued to be the aggressor. Myers turned the puck over to Brendan Gallagher behind the Buffalo net, allowing Gallagher to find Max Pacioretty in the slot who went five-hole on Jhonas Enroth.

Still up one, the Sabres couldn’t get their mojo back in time. Canadiens tied things up at 16:09 in the third as Alex Galchenyuk made a sneaky pass to wide-open Colby Armstrong who backhanded a shot into the net.

P.K. Subban was called for a high-sticking penalty 17 seconds into overtime. Ott was able to knock the rebound in off of Jordan Leopold’s shot, clinching the win for Buffalo.

“We’re trying to do anything to win right now,” Ott said. “I thought we were itching and scratching and clawing our way back.”

The game-winner was the only power play goal of the night.

The team’s leading goal scorer Thomas Vanek, who left mid-game after being hit with a slap shot from Christian Ehrhoff on a power play, finds things frustrating at the moment.

“We just keep losing momentum instead of gaining,” Vanek said in regards to their power play.

The Sabres power play is dead last in the NHL.

Enroth needed 32 saves to give them tonight’s victory. One of those came at a critical time as he made a remarkable save off of Brian Gionta’s shot with less than 20 seconds left in regulation.

Enroth is 3-0 in his career against the Habs. He now has a 2.99 GAA and a .905 save percentage.

All Ott in overtime
MONTREAL, CANADA – MARCH 19: Steve Ott #9 of the Buffalo Sabres falls on top of Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens after scoring the game winning goal during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on March 19, 2013 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Sabres defeated the Canadiens 3-2 in overtime.
(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Any win is a big win for this year’s struggling Sabres team who is sitting in 13th place in the Eastern Conference.

“Winning and losing is such a small, small increment,” Ott said. “If you close out five of those (one-goal games) – we’re in a heck of a playoff position right now.”

The Sabres are now 11-15-4 and head home to face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, before coming back to Montreal for Saturday’s game.

Three Stars:

1. Steve Ott

2. Jhonas Enroth

3. Brendan Gallagher

NOTES:

• Vanek moved down to second line with Ennis and Leino

• In just his third game back after being out with an injury, Ville Leino had two assists in tonight’s game. (3A in 3GP this season.)

• Patrick Kaleta was back in  the lineup after returning from his suspension and sitting out for a game as a healthy scratch.

• Ehrhoff led the team with 26:48 TOI.

Olga Khmylev

Olga Khmylev

Buffalo Sabres Contributor
"Hockey is a man's sport." Thank you Mom & Dad! ☺ Ever since my dream of becoming the 1st female NHLer was crushed, I decided to pursue a career that would keep me involved with the most entertaining sport in the world. The Sabres are in my blood. My first game I ever attended was at age 2 and I think I spent 59 minutes of the game sleeping in the wives room... ha! Things have slightly changed since then and now my eyes are permanently glued to the ice whenever a game is on. I've been lucky enough to work as a PR intern for the Buffalo Sabres during the 2011 World Jrs and as a Results Manager for the International Ice Hockey Federation at the 2012 & 2013 World Jrs. The next chapter of my life involves entertaining you… Enjoy! 🙂 Twitter: @OlgaKhmylev
Olga Khmylev
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