Sabres vs. Canadiens Recap: Montreal escapes testy game in overtime
The Canadiens overcame getting 20 less shots on goal than the Sabres.
After all the fights and all the emotions, it was an own-goal that gave the Canadiens a 3-2 overtime victory.
Paul Byron tried to find fellow former Sabre Torrey Mitchell on a 2-on-1 break, but instead his pass went right to Zach Bogosian's stick. Lucky for Byron, it got enough of it to change directions and beat Robin Lehner. Montreal downed the Sabres 3-2 in overtime.
It was the cherry on top of a frustrating game for Lehner, who was clearly emotional in the locker room. Not only were the first two goals ones he'd like back, he was also at the center of the fisticuffs between the two teams.
Alex Galchenyuk ran square into Lehner in the first period, resulting in a line of Sabres looking to fight him, starting with Rasmus Ristolainen. He refused, and actually avoided any penalty. That set the tone for the game, which saw it's most explosive point late in the second.
Looked like a little bit of a flop on the part of Lehner. #Sabres #Canadiens pic.twitter.com/f1yN4uCavA— Mike Straw (@MikeStrawWrites) March 16, 2016
Michael McCarron grabbed Lehner's mask in a scrum, causing the Sabres' goalie to swing at him with his glove and gave him a tug for good measure.
Subtle. pic.twitter.com/mKSxfwrmAt— Ted Starkey (@TedStarkey) March 17, 2016
Lehner does his best Scorpion impression #GetOverHere! #Sabres pic.twitter.com/WgoZittmsK— Mike Straw (@MikeStrawWrites) March 17, 2016
Everybody paired up, but there weren't any real punches thrown. Ben Scrivens skated to center, but decided to stay at a safe distance.
"He's a bit of a psycho," Scrivens told Sportsnet.
There would be six 10 minute game misconducts in the game, happening at four different points. The referees did their best Oprah impression. You get a misconduct! You get a misconduct! By the overtime period the stripes were so frustrated with the teams' behavior that they gave Andrei Markov a misconduct just for talking back.
Bogosian and Marcus Foligno, two of the more productive Sabres recently, scored the Sabres other two goals. Bogosian tapped a rebound off his own shot out of the air. Montreal challenged, but the refs determined it was inconclusive. Ryan O'Reilly did a great job setting up the play, shooting a cross-ice pass to Bogosian for the first shot. Bogosian has 10 points in his last 12 games according to Sabres PR, and as I pointed out on Twitter, as many goals as Matt Moulson (5).
Foligno's shorthanded goal was set up by a perfect two-line pass from David Legwand. He waited for the Canadiens to go off on a poorly timed change, then hit a streaking Foligno right on the stick for a breakaway. The goal came at the tail end of a double-minor to Evander Kane. Marcus Foligno has six points in the last six games.
The Sabres are off until Friday when they play the Ottawa Senators.
1. How will Ryan O'Reilly look in his first game back?
O'Reilly didn't miss a beat, setting up Bogosian for the first goal and serving as one of the Sabres' most productive set-up men. He played his usual amount of ice time, 22 minutes, despite Dan Bylsma predicting a smaller workload earler today.
2. Dan Bylsma said on WGR that these lines are built for the future. Will he stick with them?
He had to be a bit creative at points, since the Sabres had three 10 minute game misconducts, two to forwards (Matt Moulson and Nick Deslauriers).
3. How will Montreal's defense fare without P.K. Subban?
Despite the final score, the Sabres looked like the better team for a majority of the game. They outshot Montreal 43 to 22 and kept the offense in the Montreal end, especially in the first period.