Recap: Sabres Suffer Wrath of Canadiens

While All-Star Weekend was probably a bit of a disappointment for the Montreal Canadiens involved, they’re probably hoping for a few more weekends off after firing on all cylinders Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres.

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price
Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price – (Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports)

Sure, Kyle Okposo joined Habs Carey Price, Shea Weber and Michel Therrien in Los Angeles, but the home side also got additional fresh legs in the form of Andrei Markov, David Desharnais and Greg Pateryn, each of whom returned to the lineup after lengthy absences. While Pateryn took the spot of an ailing Jeff Petry, the net gain in healthy bodies definitely showed.

Putting up a decisive 5-2 victory, the Habs got contributions from both Markov and Desharnais, while captain Max Pacioretty notched a hat trick. Unfortunately for the Sabres, all they could muster were two late goals to break Price’s shutout bid, less than two weeks after he found himself on the losing end of a goaltending duel against this same squad.

First Period

The game also marked defenseman Nikita Nesterov’s debut with the Habs, but it was another Russian who set the stage to help open the scoring. Late in a first period, during which the Habs had held the edge in play, Alexander Radulov made a backhand pass through Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to find Pacioretty, who buried his first of the contest.

Second Period

It was more of the same in the second, literally, as Radulov found Pacioretty in the slot after linemate Philip Danault recovered a Sabres turnover behind their net.

After Desharnais sniped his fourth of the campaign in his first game back following a 24-game absence, Paul Byron put the game out of reach at 4-0. Converting a Markov feed, he finished off a beautiful tic-tac-toe play that essentially put the game on ice with one period remaining.

Third Period

Pacioretty added insult to an already ugly game when he buried his third of the game from a goal-mouth scramble.

By the time Sabres defenseman Dmitry Kulikov got them on the board with just under four minutes left, the tide had slowly turned. However, it was too little too late. Sabres captain Brian Gionta added another, with both goals serving as little more than afterthoughts in a game that had long since been decided.


Scoring Summary


MTL – Max Pacioretty (22) assisted by Alexander Radulov and Philip Danault


MTL – Max Pacioretty (23) assisted by Alexander Radulov and Philip Danault

MTL – David Desharnais (4) assisted by Sven Andrighetto

MTL – Paul Byron (14) assisted by Andrei Markov and Tomas Plekanec


MTL – Max Pacioretty (24) unassisted

BUF – Dmitry Kulikov (1) assisted by Cal O’Reilly

BUF – Brian Gionta (12) assisted by Cody Franson and Evander Kane

THW Three Stars

First: Max Pacioretty (3 goals)

Second: Alexander Radulov (2 assists)

Third: Philip Danault (2 assists)


Montreal Canadiens at Philadelphia Flyers

Wells Fargo Center – 7:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 2

Broadcast channels – CSN-PH, SNE, RDS

2016-17 Season Series: 

October 24: Canadiens 3 – Flyers 1

November 5: Canadiens 5 – Flyers 4


Buffalo Sabres vs. New York Rangers

KeyBank Center – 7:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 2

Broadcast channels –SNO, TVAS, NBCSN, MSG

2016-17 Season Series:

 December 1: Sabres 4 – Rangers 3

January 3: Sabres 4 – Rangers 1