Sabres vs. Canadiens: 3/27/23 – Game Reactions/Recap

The Sabres playoff hopes are still alive as they came into tonight’s game off back-to-back wins on Friday against the Devils and Saturday against the Isles. Tonight we came up just short though, losing 4-3 in the sixth round of a shootout.

Montreal scored first tonight, making it 1-0 Habs on a tip in right in front from Jordan Harris only 1:22 in the game. Lousy defense for the Sabres to give up that one, just sleeping in front. Bad way to start the game and Comrie didn’t have a clue where the rebound was. We tied up the game pretty quickly though and just 3:49 into his first NHL game, Lukas Rousek tipping in the rebound in front from Tyson Jost’s missed shot. Good positioning to be in a spot that made it an easy goal for him and it’s always fantastic to see these kinds of milestones. First game, first shift, first goal. Good period after giving up that first goal and we went into the first intermission tied up 1-1. The Sabres were the better team the rest of the period, outshooting the Habs 13-6 and generating more scoring chances. 

4:28 into the second period the Habs took the lead back with Alex Belzile scoring on a beautiful shot to make it 2-1 Montreal. The Sabres tied it right back up at 2 just 5:49 into the period, with JJ Peterka shooting the puck off the back of Jake Allen’s shoulder and into the net. Buffalo got our first lead of the game with Riley Stillman getting his first goal as he deked out Allen for his fourth career goal, making it a 3-2 game with 11:29 left in the second period, assisted by Rousek, the first time a Sabre made his debut with at least a goal and an assist since Max Afinogenov did in 1999.

The Habs were once again the first team to score in the third period, with Brendan Gallagher tying the game up at 3 goals a piece with 11:25 left on a quick shot that beat Comrie. Cash the over. After a scoreless rest of the third with some good scoring chances for the Sabres, this game headed to overtime in a 3-3 tie.

In overtime Peyton Krebs took a bullshit penalty that should not have been called after he stopped Kirby Dach on a breakaway. The Sabres had an excellent kill on that that was electric to watch and Krebs almost scored the game winner coming out of the box, cranking one off the pipe. Such an entertaining overtime period but it stayed scoreless, so onto a shootout, dumb luck to determine a winner and that crucial extra point for the Sabres. 

Viktor Olofsson went first for the Sabres in the shootout but wasn’t able to beat Allen. Comrie made a big save on Nick Suzuki, keeping the shootout tied 0-0. JJ Peterka got stopped trying to go five hole on Allen but Comrie came up big again on Jonathan Drouin. Alex Tuch kept it simple for the Sabres third shooter but was once against stopped. Through three shooters for each team, Eric Comrie kept the shootout going with a save on Mike Matheson. Jack Quinn scored the first shootout goal of the night, deking out Allen and having the puck slip five hole. The Habs tied it up though on a goal that trickled past Comrie after he made the initial save on Jesse Ylonen. Casey Mittelstadt shot wide of the net but Comrie kept it going with a save on Johnathan Kovacevic. Dylan Cozens couldn’t get the puck past Allen and then Michael Pezzetta ended the game on a good shot top shelf past Eric Comrie. 

Final: Sabres 3, Canadiens 4 (SO)

Big to get that one point at least but sucks to only get one rather than two with the stupid format of shootouts. Dumb luck to decide hockey games has to end, and going six rounds in the shootout to lose sucks even more. Very entertaining game tonight and I didn’t really have many complaints. Montreal outshot us 39-33 and outplayed us by an expected goal rate of 3.69-2.38 but we still had plenty of good scoring chances and I thought played fine. Comrie made some huge saves coming off his shutout on Saturday and the offense was fine in our first game of the season without our leading scorer Tage Thompson in the lineup, who’s hopefully back from injury on Friday night. 

Three days off for the Sabres and the Rangers come to Buffalo on Friday night.

Go Sabres. 

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