Johansson gives Sabres a 5-4 overtime win over Canadiens

Marcus Johansson's overtime goal helps get Buffalo to 3-0-1 on the young season

Kyle Powell
October 09, 2019 - 6:57 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports


A couple of Atlantic Division foes took things down to the wire at KeyBank Center on Wednesday night, but it was the Buffalo Sabres who had the last laugh with a 5-4 overtime win over the Montreal Canadiens 5-4.

The game-winner came at the 1:30 mark of overtime as first-year forward Marcus Johansson capitalized on a cross-ice feed from fellow first-year Sabres defenseman Colin Miller to give Buffalo the extra point in the standings.

The name of the opening period was special teams play as both teams combined for three goals; two were of the power play variety, and the third came shorthanded.

Victor Olofsson got things started for the Sabres as the scoring winger got the puck off a cross-ice feed from captain Jack Eichel and ripped it past Canadiens' netminder Keith Kinkaid for a 1-0 lead.

Olofsson also joined some incredible company, as his sixth-career goal also marked his sixth-ever NHL tally on the man-advantage.

Unfortunately for Buffalo, Montreal battled back with two goals before period's end. 

Former Sabres forward Joel Armia potted both goals for the Canadiens, with the first coming shorthanded as he beat Carter Hutton shortly after a Buffalo turnover.

Then, with just 20-seconds left on a Montreal power play, Armia struck again. A puck that was destined to be ripped around the boards behind Hutton was knocked down and tossed towards the slot, where Armia did the rest and gave the Canadiens their first lead of the night right before the period came to a close.

The second period started off like a carbon copy of the first for Buffalo, as the Sabres found themselves on a power play within the first four minutes of the frame. The Sabres were able to find the back of the net again, only this time it was Eichel doing the damage. His second goal of the season beat Kinkaid high, glove-side to tie the game at 2-2.

The power play goal was Buffalo's eighth already this season in just 13 opportunities.

With just over six minutes left in the second period, the captain went to work again, skating coast-to-coast towards the Canadiens' defensive zone and used a nice toe-drag move in front of the two Montreal defenders to score his second goal of the night. 

Eichel's third goal of the season helped put Buffalo back in front by a 3-2 score heading into the third period.

Just 47-seconds gone in the third, Jeff Skinner potted his third goal of the 2019-20 campaign off a feed from Marcus Johansson to give Buffalo their first multi-goal lead at 4-2.

However, the two-goal advantage would last all of 57-seconds as Canadiens forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi beat Hutton for a goal to trim the lead back down to one at 4-3; all within the first two minutes of the period.

With just over seven minutes left in regulation, defenseman Ben Chiarot got the game back to square-one as he tied the game at 4-4 with his first goal as a member of the Canadiens.  Chiarot was able to capitalize when his teammates kept the puck in the Sabres' defensive end, and his wrist shot, through traffic, beat Hutton up over his left shoulder.

The night suddenly became a six-minute sprint to the finish line as both teams battled hard in the waning moments, but nothing ended up being settled and the game would head to overtime. Buffalo did have an edge heading into overtime, as it brought with them some rollover power play time from a Philip Danault slashing minor.

Four-seconds after Buffalo's power play expired, Johansson sealed the deal as he deposited the game-winning goal past Kinkaid off a cross-ice pass from Miller. Johansson's clutch goal pushed the Sabres' record to 3-0-1 through four games in 2019-20, meaning they've attained seven out of a possible eight points.

Eichel posted a strong four-point effort to lead the Buffalo offense in the victory. Hutton made 23 saves on 27 shots in the win as well.




Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 5:04 - Victor Olofsson (4) PP (Jack Eichel, Rasmus Dahlin)
MTL: 14:06 - Joel Armia (1) SH (Nate Thompson); 19:39 - Joel Armia (2) PPgiph (Nick Suzuki)

Second Period:

BUF: 4:46 - Jack Eichel (2) PP (Rasmus Dahlin, Sam Reinhart); 14:13 - Jack Eichel (3) (Unassisted)

Third Period:

BUF: 0:47 - Jeff Skinner (3) (Marcus Johansson)
MTL: 1:44 - Jesperi Kotkaniemi (2) (Joel Armia, Jonathan Drouin); 12:54 - Ben Chiarot (1) (Artturi Lehkonen, Mike Reilly)


BUF: 1:30 - Marcus Johansson (2) (Colin Miller, Jack Eichel)


Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 18:21 - Rasmus Dahlin (Interference - 2 min.)
MTL: 3:59 - Tomas Tatar (Interference - 2 min.); 13:26 - Jesperi Kotkaniemi (Tripping - 2 min.)

Second Period:

BUF: 7:52 - Vladimir Sobotka (High-sticking - 2 min.)
MTL: 3:58 - Tomas Tatar (Slashing - 2 min.); 16:49 - Jordan Weal (Holding the stick - 2 min.)

Third Period:

BUF: 4:20 - Marcus Johansson (Holding - 2 min.)
MTL: 19:25 - Philip Danault (Slashing - 2 min.)




Shots on Goal:

BUF: 39 (12, 15, 11, 1)
MTL: 27 (10, 9, 8, 0)


BUF: Carter Hutton - 23 saves
MTL: Keith Kinkaid - 34 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 2 for 5 (40%)
MTL: 1 for 3 (33%)

Three Stars:

1.) Jack Eichel (BUF)
2.) Joel Armia (MTL)
3.) Marcus Johansson (BUF)


What's Next:

The Sabres continue their three-game homestand on Friday with a matchup against the Florida Panthers at KeyBank Center. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. with the Paul William-Beltz Pre-Game Show from (716) Food and Sport starting at 6 p.m. with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog on the flagship of the Sabres - WGR Sports Radio 550.

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