Canadiens Fall to Sabres 3-1
The Buffalo Sabres were in town on Tuesday night for a Northeast Division clash with the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens, just two points up from the lowly Sabres, were unable to hold off their division rivals in a game that saw the Habs lose by a score of 3-1. The Sabres, who were 14th in the Eastern Conference heading into this one, are now tied with the Habs, but thanks to having two more wins will be ahead of them in the standings.
Very little separated these two teams going into the match-up on Tuesday night. Both teams fans had high expectations at the beginning of the season, only to watch as each respective team played their way to the cellar of the conference. While it might just be too little too late for both of these squads, they certainly didn't want to drop an in-division game at this point of the season.
The scoring opened in the first period as Max Pacioretty netted his 18th of the season after jamming in his own rebound when Miller turned away his initial breakaway chance. It wasn't until almost exactly twenty minutes later in the second period that Sabres' forward Ville Leino tied the game with the fourth goal of his campaign. The Sabres would go on to secure the victory with two goals in the third period, one from Paul Gaustad and an empty net tally from Patrick Kaleta.
As we've seen so many times before this season and last, despite the efforts of Habs' franchise netminder Carey Price, the Canadiens were unable to get the win. Price was on his game tonight, making 37 saves on 39 shots, compared to the 28 shots Sabres' goalie Ryan Miller was faced with. Both teams had their fair share of chances, and in the end the Habs' skaters just couldn't beat the opposing goaltender.
This win marks the sixth straight for Buffalo over the Canadiens, who just can't seem to get past the Sabres. There is a bright spot, and that is the consistent effort of the Pacioretty – Desharnais – Cole line, which is night in and night out the best the Canadiens have to offer. It takes more than one line to win hockey games though, and that has been the shortcoming.
So while the Habs drop another two points after having an early lead, things are looking more and more dim. Unless of course you are on the tank bandwagon, in which case, tonight wasn't so bad after all.