Sabres at Canadiens Recap: Sabres Lose Lead, Still Win In OT 3-2

Richard Wolowicz

Steve Ott scored twice and Jhonas Enroth put in a strong effort in a 3-2 OT win for the Sabres.

First Period

  • The Sabres came out with some jump, which is to say they didn't allow a goal against in the first minute. Pat Kaleta brought the "piss and vinegar" early, getting involved in a few decent offensive chances throughout the first period. Is the Kaleta-Hecht-Stafford line the most weirdly talented fourth line in the NHL?
  • The Sabres became the Bizarro-Sabres midway through the first when Jason Pominville forechecked like crazy, forced a bad PK Subban turnover that went right to Steve Ott, who rocketed a slap shot past Carey Price for a 1-0 lead. This must be what it looks like for other teams when they play the Sabres.
  • A Tyler Myers (actually tipped in by Tyler Ennis) goal later in the period was set up entirely by Ville Leino. After a scramble to keep the puck in the Montreal zone, Leino somehow maintained possession of the puck though he was surrounded by four Montreal players, and got it back to Myers, who rifled a wrister past Price. Beautiful work by Leino, who had a strong period overall.

Second Period

  • The second period started with two straight penalties against Buffalo. And the feelings of here we go again...dissipated when the Sabres gamely killed them both off, even drawing a penalty shortly afterwards.
  • The Canadiens are certainly getting their chances, but the Sabres are doing a good job of getting their sticks/skates/bodies in front of the Montreal shots, and many of them have been either blocked or gone wide.
  • After a rough second period, the Sabres were outshot 11-2. The good news is that they didn't allow a goal, but that can't become the norm.

Third Period

  • Thomas Vanek was not on the ice, thanks to an upper body injury suffered in the second period, and the team announced he would not return. He would later be joined by Ville Leino, with another injury.
  • "It's not always making the saves, but a lot of times it's being in the right position where the puck is hitting you." - Rob Ray, on Jhonas Enroth. Thanks, Rob.
  • Tired players often lead to sloppy play, and the Sabres got caught with their top line on the ice, chasing Montreal all around until the inevitable goal. Goodbye, Enroth shutout, you were a fun dream.
  • It turns out playing hyper-defensive hockey for the last 12 minutes of the game is not a sound strategy, as the Canadiens tie the game after about 10 straight minutes in the Sabres zone. You'd think the Sabres would know this after three years of employing said strategy.

OT

  • Mark Pysyk is calm with the puck in both ends and draws a (fake) penalty on PK Subban, whose karma came back to bite him after holding Ville Leino's stick for approximately ninety seconds of the third period without a penalty.
  • Steve Ott cashes in on the 4-on-3 for the game winner on his second goal of the night. Good for Otter, and kudos to Enroth and Pysyk as well tonight.

Comment of the Game

I think the second period needs a scary font gif so we can prepare ourselves for the horrors to come.

- Ubiquitous2

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