Nathan Gerbe scored in the second period and added an empty net goal as the Buffalo Sabres shutout the Canadiens 2-0 at the Bell Centre Tuesday night.  Ryan Miller faced 31 Canadiens shots en route to the shutout.  With the loss the Canadiens again fell three points behind the Boston Bruins in the race for the Northeast Division lead.  The Bruins beat New Jersey 4-1 in Boston Tuesday night.  The teams go head-to-head Thursday in Boston.

Summing It Up-

….Trot out the cliches.  Too many passengers.  Too many lost battles.  Too many penalties.  They all apply to the Canadiens in this game.

….For the most part the Canadiens effort wasn’t there.  The Canadiens spent long stretches in their own end which led to penalties which, in turn, broke up any attempt at gaining an upper hand in the game.  The Canadiens got five minor penalties to only two for the Sabres.

…..It wasn’t exactly a hard-earned shutout for Ryan Miller.  Seldom did the Canadiens establish any presence around him.

…..On the other hand, the score could have been four or five nothing but for the work of Carey Price, especially in the second period.  While the shots on goal were close, the quality chances belonged almost entirely to the Sabres.

…..The Canadiens most effective line was Desharnais/White and Pouliot.  A team that places it’s hopes on a line that is made of two rookies, has little hope of winning on most nights.   Ryan White was especially noticeable.

…..Andre Kostitsyn worked hard in this game, continuing his string of solid games. 

…..It’s in vogue to criticize the play of Scott Gomez but, obviously Jacques Martin disagrees.  Gomez was the busiest centre in the third period when Martin moved Michael Cammalleri up on the line replacing Moen.

…..Which leads us to Cammalleri.  There is something seriously wrong with his game.  With first Eller and Kostitsyn for two periods and then with Gomez,he was not the attacking presence we have come to appreciate.  He had three shots on goal in the game, mostly unmemorable.  In the fifteen games since coming back from his shoulder injury Cammalleri has three goals.  Is there an injury or is it just a slump?  Clearly there’s something wrong.

….The defense played all right in this game.  But too much of the game was spent in the Canadiens end of the ice.  Under constant pressure, four of the five Canadiens penalties were called on defensemen. 

….Not the way the team would want to start a very tough week.  Next up, the Bruins in Boston and then home to Washington.  Both were winners Tuesday night.  The Canadiens have been in the habit of bouncing back after poor outings.  We’ll see.

The Goalscorers –  Buffalo – Gerbe (12th) (Myers-Sekera); Gerbe (13th) ENG (unassisted).

Shots on Goal – Buffalo    8-10-6 = 24   Canadiens  12-10-9 = 31

The Three Stars – First – Ryan Miller (shutout-31 saves)  Second – Carey Price (stopped 22 of 23 shots)   Third – Nathan Gerbe (2 goals – 3 shots – plus 2)

The Standings after Tuesday’s Games –

                              GP    Pts.                   Next Game

1st  -Philadelphia   72    97**                 vs. Pittsburgh Thursday

2nd –Washington  74     96**  –              at Ottawa Friday

3rd – Boston          72     90**                 vs. Canadiens Thursday

4th – Pittsburgh     73     92                    at Philadelphia Thursday

5th – Tampa Bay    73    89                    vs. Carolina Friday

6th –  Canadiens    74    87                   at Boston Thursday

7th  – NY Rangers   74     84                   vs. Florida Tuesday    

8th –  Buffalo           73     81                    vs. Florida Friday

9th –  Carolina         73    78                     at Tampa Friday   

10th-Toronto           74    76                     at Colorado Friday

11th-New Jersey     73     72                    at Pittsburgh Friday

The Corsi/Fenwick Numbers

Game Number Team Player Number Goals Saved shots Missed Shots Fenwick+/- Blocked Shots Corsi+/-
21092 MTL 11 – C – GOMEZ, SCOTT 0 0 10 2 3 5 6 7 1 12
21092 MTL 13 – L – CAMMALLERI, MICHAEL 0 0 7 4 2 5 0 2 5 -3
21092 MTL 20 – D – WISNIEWSKI, JAMES 0 0 13 5 6 7 7 3 5 5
21092 MTL 21 – R – GIONTA, BRIAN 0 0 10 3 3 7 3 7 1 9
21092 MTL 22 – D – MARA, PAUL 0 1 4 6 0 6 -9 1 4 -12
21092 MTL 31 – G – PRICE, CAREY 0 1 22 15 8 15 -1 10 12 -3
21092 MTL 32 – L – MOEN, TRAVIS 0 0 6 3 5 4 4 6 3 7
21092 MTL 34 – L – DAWES, NIGEL 0 0 2 1 0 3 -2 0 0 -2
21092 MTL 44 – D – HAMRLIK, ROMAN 0 0 11 5 6 6 6 3 4 5
21092 MTL 45 – D – PICARD, ALEXANDRE 0 1 4 4 1 5 -5 2 4 -7
21092 MTL 46 – L – KOSTITSYN, ANDREI 0 0 4 3 4 3 2 3 6 -1
21092 MTL 53 – C – WHITE, RYAN 0 1 6 6 1 1 -1 0 5 -6
21092 MTL 57 – L – POULIOT, BENOIT 0 1 6 6 1 1 -1 1 4 -4
21092 MTL 58 – C – DESHARNAIS, DAVID 0 1 6 8 1 3 -5 1 5 -9
21092 MTL 63 – C – ENGQVIST, ANDREAS 0 0 3 2 0 3 -2 0 0 -2
21092 MTL 75 – D – GILL, HAL 0 0 6 6 1 4 -3 5 3 -1
21092 MTL 76 – D – SUBBAN, P.K. 0 0 6 6 2 4 -2 6 4 0
21092 MTL 81 – C – ELLER, LARS 0 0 3 3 4 4 0 2 6 -4
21092 MTL 94 – C – PYATT, TOM 0 0 3 2 0 3 -2 0 0 -2