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Housley impressed by Sabres' puck possession in overtime

Three-on-three overtime is in its third season, and it took Phil Housley just one game as an NHL head coach to experience it.

"I think it's great for hockey," Housley said Friday. "The fans love the open ice. The players love the open ice.

"I don't like it when we don't get a win out of it, but that's continuing to evolve."

The Sabres fell to 0-0-1 with a 3-2 shootout loss to Montreal on Thursday. Buffalo took a methodical approach during overtime and tried to set up plays rather than get in a track meet. It resulted in more puck control.

The puck was in the Montreal zone for 2:25 of overtime, including 1:44 on the Sabres' sticks. It was in the Sabres' zone for 1:41, including 1:15 of possession time for Montreal. The other 55 seconds were spent in the neutral zone.

Buffalo had a 4-3 shot advantage.

"We had some good looks," Housley said in KeyBank Center. "We had some things that almost transpired into some scoring chances. I thought our guys were really smart about maintaining possession and not giving it up.

"We got ourselves into some dead zones where they were able to attack. I think we could have brought it back and just held possession because it's such a big part of three-on-three. But moving forward, we've had some success. We won a game in overtime in preseason. We had some really good looks last night without giving up too much, so I'm pretty happy about it."

Should the Sabres reach overtime again Saturday when they visit the New York Islanders, expect the marquee and fast skaters to partake. Jack Eichel, Evander Kane and Nathan Beaulieu started the extra session, followed by Ryan O'Reilly, Kyle Okposo and Rasmus Ristolainen, and Sam Reinhart, Jason Pominville and Victor Antipin.

Exhibit A is shot in the arm for Sabres' offense

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