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game recap

SABRES OVERCOME PENALTY TROUBLE IN PRESEASON OPENER

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 5:15 AM

Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak)

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SABRES OVERCOME PENALTY TROUBLE IN PRESEASON OPENER
Buffalo Sabres 5, Montréal Canadiens 4
Three Stars of the Game
Michael Bournival
1st
Michael Bournival
G: 2Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 3
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 16:39
Zemgus Girgensons
2nd
G: 2Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 2TOI: 19:20
Martin St Pierre
3rd
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 16:00

MONTREAL -- The Buffalo Sabres didn’t make it easy on themselves, but they got the job done.

The Sabres prevailed in the shootout, defeating the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 inside a packed Bell Centre on Sunday in their preseason opener. Zemgus Girgensons scored twice in the game and Mikhail Grigorenko netted the decisive goal on a nifty backhand in the shootout.

Defenseman Jamie McBain and camp invitee Colton Gillies also scored for Buffalo.

Matt Hackett was the winning goaltender, taking over midway through the game for starter Jhonas Enroth. Hackett stopped 11 of 12 shots in 35:23. Enroth made 10 saves on 13 shots.

Michael Bournival tallied twice for Montreal. The Canadiens also received goals from Erik Nystrom and Martin St-Pierre.

Before they could reach the shootout however, the Sabres had to successfully kill off two penalties in the third and in the overtime period.

Buffalo didn’t hold a lead in the game until the very end and fought back from four one-goal deficits.

“We kind of knew they were going to come out hard here in an exhibition game with the crowd they did. I thought we got better as the game went on,” Sabres coach Ron Rolston said. “But I liked a lot of our younger players and the poise that they had in an environment like this for the first time.”

Though the Sabres got into penalty trouble, particularly late in the game and in overtime, they killed off four of Montreal’s six power plays.

“We had a lot of kills and a lot of double odd-man situations which made it tough, but I think we hung in there,” Sabres forward Steve Ott said. “Obviously there’s always room for improvement. That was our first real test.”

While Rolston and the coaching staff would rather not find themselves in so many shorthanded situations, developing players like Girgensons relished the opportunity to be on the ice during a crucial penalty kill.

“I think it’s really good for the team to be put in such tough situations before the real season because it still matters how we play here, but it’s a lot about learning and getting prepared for the regular season,” Girgensons said. “So I think it’s good putting us in those tough situations. It helps us down the road.”

Girgensons’ first goal came on the penalty kill 0:58 into the second period to tie the game at one. He scored again with 8:09 left in the period to make it 3-3, beating Furcale with a wrist shot from the off wing.

“He changed really the game, the momentum of getting the shorthanded goal and then getting the second goal he had on the short side,” Rolston said. “…I thought [Girgensons] was one of our best players tonight.”

The Sabres lineup Sunday featured heavily touted prospects like Grigorenko, Girgensons, Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov, Johan Larsson and Mark Pysyk mixed with veterans like Ott, Drew Stafford, Patrick Kaleta, Cody McCormick, Henrik Tallinder and Mike Weber.

Ott was impressed with the grit some of the younger players showed in the game. Ristolainen in particular blocked a hard shot early in the third period.

“The sacrifice is there. The compete is there and those are aspects you can’t teach,” Ott said. “When young guys are doing that and sacrificing themselves, it just shows they want to be on this team. Obviously, it bodes well throughout our lineup and the stable of young prospects that we have. ”

Ott served as captain for the game. Rolston said he will continue to rotate the “C” throughout the season before naming a full-time captain. Tallinder and Stafford served as the alternates.

scoring summary
1st Period
15:18
MTL
Michael Bournival (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Michael McCarron (1), Jarred Tinordi (1)
1 - 0 MTL
2nd Period
00:58
BUF
SHG - Zemgus Girgensons (1) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE
1 - 1 Tie
02:00
MTL
Michael Bournival (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Martin St Pierre (1), Greg Pateryn (1)
2 - 1 MTL
03:52
BUF
Jamie McBain (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Steve Ott (1), Ville Leino (1)
2 - 2 Tie
09:37
MTL
PPG - Erik Nystrom (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Jarred Tinordi (2), Greg Pateryn (2)
3 - 2 MTL
11:51
BUF
Zemgus Girgensons (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Kevin Porter (1), Mark Pysyk (1)
3 - 3 Tie
3rd Period
12:59
MTL
PPG - Martin St Pierre (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Michael McCarron (2), Greg Pateryn (3)
4 - 3 MTL
15:36
BUF
Colton Gillies (1) Backhand shot - ASST: Rasmus Ristolainen (1), Cody McCormick (1)
4 - 4 Tie
OT Period
NONE
Shootout
RNDMTLBUF
1A. GalchenyukD. Stafford
2M. RewayM. Grigorenko
3B. Gallagher
penalty summary
1st Period
19:38
MTL
Jarred Tinordi  Fighting (maj)  - 5 min against  Cody McCormick
19:38
BUF
Cody McCormick  Fighting (maj)  - 5 min against  Jarred Tinordi
19:38
BUF
Cody McCormick served by Luke Adam  Instigator  - 2 min against  Jarred Tinordi
19:38
BUF
Cody McCormick  Misconduct (10 min)  - 10 min
2nd Period
08:15
BUF
Zemgus Girgensons  Interference on goalkeeper  - 2 min against  Peter Budaj
12:45
MTL
Raphael Diaz  Holding  - 2 min against  Steve Ott
16:17
MTL
Michael McCarron  Hooking  - 2 min against  Colton Gillies
3rd Period
01:29
MTL
Sebastian Collberg  Holding  - 2 min against  Johan Larsson
05:13
BUF
Cody McCormick  Fighting (maj)  - 5 min against  Davis Drewiske
05:13
MTL
Davis Drewiske  Fighting (maj)  - 5 min against  Cody McCormick
05:13
BUF
Cody McCormick served by Luke Adam  Roughing  - 2 min against  Davis Drewiske
08:53
BUF
Steve Ott  Roughing  - 2 min against  Martin St Pierre
08:53
MTL
Martin St Pierre  Roughing  - 2 min against  Steve Ott
10:41
BUF
Nikita Zadorov  Roughing  - 2 min against  Brendan Gallagher
10:41
BUF
Patrick Kaleta  Roughing  - 2 min against  Alex Galchenyuk
10:41
BUF
Patrick Kaleta served by Luke Adam  Roughing  - 2 min against  Alex Galchenyuk
10:41
MTL
Brendan Gallagher  Roughing  - 2 min against  Patrick Kaleta
13:11
MTL
Davis Drewiske  Holding  - 2 min against  Kevin Porter
15:36
BUF
Patrick Kaleta  Diving  - 2 min against  Brandon Prust
15:36
MTL
Brandon Prust  Cross checking  - 2 min against  Patrick Kaleta
16:04
BUF
Mike Weber  Roughing  - 2 min against  Brendan Gallagher
OT Period
00:19
BUF
Johan Larsson  Holding  - 2 min against  Lars Eller
goalie stats
Jhonas Enroth
SA: 13TOI: 29:37
GA: 3SV%: .769
Matt Hackett
SA: 12TOI: 35:23
GA: 1SV%: .917
Peter Budaj
Peter Budaj
SA: 12TOI: 29:37
GA: 2SV%: .833
Zachary Fucale
Zachary Fucale
SA: 15TOI: 35:23
GA: 2SV%: .867