The Buffalo Sabres put together a relatively sound effort versus the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night and all they got for their trouble was a 4-3 shootout loss to the Canadiens. The loss has put them in a tie with the Carolina Hurricanes and due to tiebreakers, dead last in the Eastern Conference with 55 points. If there was any glimmer of hope for the playoffs, Sports Club Stats has the Sabres chances for making them at .3%.
The Sabres jumped out to another lead much like they did against the Flyers on Thursday night. This time it was Robyn Regher finding the net for his first goal of the season. Assists on the goal came from Paul Gaustad and Nathan Gerbe. The Canadiens tied the game seven minutes later with a goal from Tomas Kaberle on the power play.
The Sabres and Canadiens would trade goals again the first period to finish the period at a 2-2 draw. Tyler Myers had a slap shot from just outside the faceoff dot and Scott Gomez scored his second goal of the season with 13.6 seconds left in the period. The Sabres outshot the Canadiens 11-9 in the period, something that would become a constant throughout the game.
In the second period, the Canadiens scored the lone goal and jumped out to their first lead of the game. Chris Campoli beat Miller as he was dealing with traffic in front of the net and he scored his second goal of the season. The Canadiens would be able to take the 3-2 lead into the third period, even though they managed to get just four shots on goal in the period and were outshot 18-13 at that point in the game.
Tyler Ennis tied the game up at the 11:55 mark of the third period as he was just in the right place at the right time and was able to beat Carey Price. Assists on the goal went to Ville Leino and Drew Stafford. The Sabres would manage to get a little more pressure on the Canadiens in that period as well, but just couldn't manage to beat Carey Price. By the end of regulation, the Sabres had a 27-19 advantage in shots.
Overtime saw the Sabres dominate much of the five minute session. The Sabres had one minute of power play time as Max Pacioretty took a tripping penalty, but the Sabres just couldn't muster anything more than three shots on goal in the extra session.
In the shootout, both Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais scored for the Canadiens while Brad Boyes and Jason Pominville each missed for the Sabres. Ryan Miller made initial saves on both of the Montreal shots, but just couldn't get the puck to stop crossing the line.
After the jump, more player specific thoughts.
- The Buffalo Sabres outshot the Montreal Canadiens 30-19, yet still lost the game 4-3. Goaltender Ryan Miller just did not have a great game considering the lack of shots that he actually faced. Both of the shootout goals he allowed were goals that he really should have made and Miller showed his frustration by slamming the glass on the way off the ice.
- Penalties killed this team again as the Canadiens capitalized on two power play chances even though the score sheet won't acknowledge it. Thomas Vanek took a cross-checking penalty early in the first that led to the Tomas Kaberle goal and Nathan Gerbe took a hooking penalty that led to the Scott Gomez goal. Both players were sat at various times for a message as Lindy Ruff called it after the game.
- With Tyler Myers goal, Myers had scored his 100th career point in his 200th career game. Myers played 22:05 on the night and overall didn't look too terrible. On the goal, it seemed to be a case of being in the right place at the right time after Derek Roy spun a defender off of him in front of the net.
The Sabres will look to continue their ineptitude with a Sunday afternoon matinee against the Pittsburgh Penguins.