Montreal 5, Buffalo 2

Oct. 26, 2001 at 10:50 PM
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BUFFALO, N.Y., Oct. 26 (UPI) -- After a dangerous collision and a cheap shot that could lead to a suspension, Brian Savage scored three goals and replacement Mathieu Garon made 26 saves Friday night to carry the Montreal Canadiens past the Buffalo Sabres, 5-2.

Garon was recalled from Quebec of the American Hockey League after Jeff Hackett suffered a dislocated left shoulder in a collision with Buffalo left wing J.P. Dumont in Saturday's 3-1 home loss to the Sabres.

He did not expect to see action Friday, but entered the game with 89 seconds left in the second period, after Jose Theodore came out of his net to play the puck and collided with Sabres right wing Vaclav Varada near the left faceoff circle. Varada just missed getting to the puck, but his knees hit the top of Theodore's helmet.

As soon as Varada got up, former Sabre Doug Gilmour skated over and intentionally clipped the right winger's knee. Gilmour and Varada both received majors and game misconducts.

Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff and his Montreal counterpart, Michel Therrien, exchange words from the benches after the incident. Therrien held up two fingers, referring to both of his goalies that were injured in collisions with Sabres. Ruff pointed back and motioned for Therrien to sit down.

Savage lifted the Canadiens into a 1-1 tie 7:04 into the second period when he got the puck after a turnover by Maxim Afinogenov and lifted a wrist shot past goaltender Martin Biron for his third goal of the season.

Afinogenov was involved in a scrap with Benoit Brunet with just over eight minutes left in the second and Montreal's Joe Juneau received a high-sticking minor during the same incident, giving the Sabres a power play. Jason Woolley capitalized as he lifted a wrist shot just under the crossbar from the right circle for his second goal of the season with 7 1/2 minutes left.

Montreal took advantage of a hooking penalty on Chris Gratton as Savage poked a rebound of Chad Kilger's shot behind Biron with 4:23 left in the second to tie the score.

Savage completed his seventh career hat trick with 7:34 remaining. With Montreal on another power play, Savage lifted a wrister over Biron's left shoulder from the top right crease.

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