On Tuesday night, the Canadiens started much the brighter team and got out to an early lead but the Sabres were able to fight all the way back to make it even.
Ultimately a shootout was needed and the Sabres outlasted the Canadiens in a
whopping 10 rounds to get the extra point. There was a late lineup change for the
Habs with Jaroslav Spacek unable to go, Brendon Nash was called up from Hamilton to earn his first NHL experience.
The Canadiens started quickly and put pressure on the Sabres. It paid off on the powerplay with Max Pacioretty scoring at 4:54 of the first period, putting away his own rebound, to give the Habs the early lead. The
Habs continued to outplay the Sabres in the first, outshooting them 18-7, but couldn’t get the insurance goal.
Early in the second they doubled their lead after David Desharnais split the Buffalo defense and made a nice pass to a wide-open Benoit Pouliot
for his 13th of the season. This seemed to inspire Buffalo as they outplayed the Habs for the rest of the period. Their good play culminated with a powerplay goal from Drew Stafford after a nice between the legs move by Thomas Vanek at the side of the net.
The Sabres’ comeback was complete at 6:08 of the 3rd period when Jason Pominville scored from the slot after an offensive zone faceoff. They continued to outplay the
Habs in the latter part of the game, outshooting them 22-13 but there would be no other scoring in the game, including the overtime so it was on to the shootout.
The Canadiens started well with both Desharnais and Tomas Plekanec scoring on the first two shots to give the Habs the lead but just as in the game, the Sabres fought back and tied it. It ended up going to a 10th round before finally James Wisniewski missed and Jochen Hecht scored to give the Sabres the valuable extra point.
HW 3 Stars of the Night:
1st Star: David Desharnais (1 assist, +1 rating, 18:55 TOI)
He continues to prove he belongs in this league by creating chances every time he’s on the ice. His stick handling between the Sabres defence before finding Benoit Pouliot was a joy to watch. He has been a major upgrade over
2nd Star: Max Pacioretty (1 goal, 2 shots, 19:01 TOI)
He continues his hot streak by getting another goal, giving him five points in his last four games and
eleven in his last eleven games since being injured against Buffalo on January 18th. He is turning into the complete player and it’s a very welcome sight.
3rd Star: P.K. Subban (+1 rating, 6 shots, team high 29:22 TOI)
With all the injuries affecting Montreal’s defensive core, P.K. has become
the Habs’ most important defenceman. He logged almost 30 minutes, which puts him in the category of the best in the league
in that stat. His defensive game is improving with every game he plays and he is the best at carrying the puck out of
the Habs’ zone.