Quick Hits: Sabres 3, Canadiens 2 (OT) - The Buffalo News

Share this article

print logo

Quick Hits: Sabres 3, Canadiens 2 (OT)

MONTREAL -- The Buffalo Sabres have won four straight games at home but forget any long winning streaks if they can't win on the road. Maybe Saturday will mark a change in that trend.

Buffalo snapped a four-game winless streak away from KeyBank Center by rallying for a 3-2 overtime victory over the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens in Bell Centre. Zach Bogosian won it with a blistering slapper at 1:48 of overtime. It was his first goal of the season.

Robin Lehner made 35  saves -- including a spectacular diving glove stop on  Alex Galchenyuk 19 seconds before the the game-winner.

Nearly ending it in regulation: Carey Price made two 10-bell saves in the final 20 seconds, stopping Matt Moulson on a breakaway with 19 seconds to go and spearing Rasmus Ristolainen's shot from the faceoff circle with 6.3 seconds left to draw a standing ovation.

Habs break the ice: After a scoreless first period, Montreal got the first goal at 3:54 of the second period as Artturi Lehkonen banged home a juicy rebound that Lehner gave on a shot by former Sabre Paul Byron. Lehkonen got his 11th goal of the season by beating both Ryan O'Reilly and Tyler Ennis to the loose puck.

Quick response: The Sabres got even 56 seconds later as former Habs captain Brian Gionta stuffed home his 10th of the season from the edge of the crease. The dirty work down low to pry the puck free came from Evander Kane and Zemgus Girgensons and Gionta had perhaps his easiest goal of the season, as the puck popped to him at the left of the crease with an open net directly in front of him.

Falling behind again: Philip Danault's 10th of the season came at 8:50 of the second and put the Habs up, 2-1. It was a deflection of a Jeff Petry slot as Jack Eichel was unable to tie up Danault in front.

Tied again: Cody Franson got Buffalo even with 8:07 left on a screened shot off a Ryan O'Reilly faceoff win.

History against the Sabres: Danault's first NHL goal was a game-winner against Buffalo just over a year ago. He beat Chad Johnson for the tiebreaking goal with 4:59 left in an eventual 3-1 Chicago win over the Sabres in United Center on Jan. 8, 2016. Danault was sent to Montreal at the trade deadline in a deal that sent Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann from Montreal to Chicago.

Pick a pair: The Sabres opened on defense with Rasmus Ristolainen teamed with Justin Falk, Bogosian with Cody Franson and Taylor Fedun with Casey Nelson. Ristolainen took several shifts with Fedun as the Sabres were mindful of Nelson's minutes.

Bucking the trend: Price entered the game enduring one of the worst months of his career. The Montreal veteran was 3-4 in January with a sickly 3.40 goals-against average and an .881 save percentage. In his previous five games, Price was just 1-4/4.01/.859 -- allowing at least four goals four times and enduring a 7-1 blowout at Minnesota.

Back to back: The Sabres reversed their struggles in the second half of their back-to-back sets. They're 4-2-2 in the opening games of back-to-backs and now 3-5-1 in the second game. The Habs won Friday in New Jersey.

Home cooking: The Habs became just the third team in NHL history to open a season 10-0 at home but have been ordinary since. Saturday's win made them 16-5-3, meaning they're just 6-5-3 in their last 14 games here.

Up next: The Sabres flew home immediately after the game and will take Sunday off. They have two more games before the All-Star break, Tuesday at Nashville and Thursday at Dallas. The first game after break is also at Bell Centre, on Jan. 31. The next home game isn't until Feb. 2 against the New York Rangers.

email: mharrington@buffnews.com

 

There are no comments - be the first to comment