Montreal 6 – Buffalo 1
Saturday, February 2, 2013
MONTREAL – Rene Bourque and David Desharnais both scored twice and Carey Price made 30 saves as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Buffalo Sabres 6-1 on Saturday afternoon. The loss drops the Sabres to 3-4-1 on the season, while the Canadiens improve to 5-2-0.
Montreal controlled much of the play in the first period, holding a 15-1 edge in shots. But it took them until the 19:52 mark to get on the board when Bourque tapped in a cross-ice pass from Brian Gionta. They scored three more times in the second period to build a commanding 4-0 lead after 40 minutes. The Canadiens went up 5-0 early in the third before Thomas Vanek broke Price’s shutout bid at 3:01 when he was sent in alone by Marcus Foligno and chipped the puck over the sprawled netminder. It was Vanek’s seventh goal of the season and league-leading 16th point.
Andrej Sekera left the game after the first period when he was hit in the foot by an Alexei Emelin shot just 54 seconds into the game. Sekera struggled to the bench, and went to the dressing room briefly, but he returned to play 3:37 of ice time in four additional shifts. Ruff said that Sekera has a bruised foot and will be evaluated further on Sunday… Cody McCormick made his season debut for the Sabres after missing the first seven games with a hand injury… To make room for McCormick, Robyn Regehr was placed on IR before the game. Regehr had missed the previous two games with a lower body injury… Patrick Kaleta (neck), Nathan Gerbe and TJ Brennan were Buffalo’s scratches… This was Kaleta’s second game missed after being hit from behind against Toronto on Tuesday.
BEHIND THE NUMBERS
With his third period goal, Thomas Vanek has points in all seven games he’s played in… Dating back to last season, Vanek has 27 points (9+18) in his last 17 games… Marcus Foligno’s assist on Vanek’s goal extends his point streak to four games (1+4)… This was Buffalo’s first regulation loss to Montreal since November 27, 2010; snapping a nine-game unbeaten streak (8-0-1) against the Habs… Jason Pominville, Mikhail Grigorenko, Christian Ehrhoff and Mike Weber all saw their two-game point streaks come to end today… Buffalo recorded just one shot in the first period, their lowest total in a regulation period since Oct. 7, 2011 vs. Anaheim (0, 3rd period)… The Sabres are 1-2-0 in afternoon games… Buffalo allowed three goals in the second period, and have now been outscored 15-8 in the second period this season… Christian Ehrhoff had 25:41 of ice time, and is the only Sabres defenseman to play at least 20+ minutes in all eight games… This was Buffalo’s first loss against a Northeast Division opponent (2-1-1) this season… First of five meetings between the Sabres and Canadiens this season; 254th game all-time… The Sabres are 116-101-37 against the Canadiens; 48-67-13 on the road.
BUFFALO’S RECORD WHEN…
* Trailing after the first period: 0-1-0
* Opponent scores first: 0-2-1
* Trailing after the second period: 0-3-1
* Outshot by the opposition: 2-4-0
BUFFALO’S REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Time on Ice: Christian Ehrhoff, 25:41
Shots: Vanek/Pominville/Hodgson, 4
Blocked Shots: Jordan Leopold, 3
Faceoff Wins: Cody Hodgson, 13
Total Faceoffs: Hodgson, 21 (13-8)
Hits: Mike Weber, 7
The Sabres were held scoreless on six power plays, dropping their season average to 19.4% (6/31). After going six-for-six over the past two games, Buffalo killed off six of eight Montreal man advantage opportunities, and are now at 81.1% (30/37) on the year.
* Sunday vs. Florida, 3 p.m.
* Tuesday @ Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
* Thursday vs. Montreal, 7 p.m.