Photo: Eric Bolte - USA TODAY Sports

Sabres fall in Montreal 7-4

Buffalo is officially eliminated from playoff contention

March 23, 2019 - 7:22 pm

Brendan Gallagher, Max Domi and Tomas Tatar all had three-point nights, while Carey Price made 23 saves, lifting the Montreal Canadiens over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday 7-4 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.

With the regulation loss, Buffalo is officially eliminated from playoff contention for an eighth consecutive season.

Casey Mittelstadt fed Sam Reinhart from behind the net on the game's opening goal. Reinhart moved from the far wall to the slot and tapped it home for his 19th goal and his first in 11 5games. Buffalo headed to the first intermission with the 1-0 lead, despite being out-shot by Montreal 12-8, closing out a strong period for Carter Hutton.

The Canadiens broke through at 5:09 of the second period on Artturi Lehkonen's ninth of the season, capping a tic-tac-toe play in front of the net. Some sharp passing courtesy of Max Domi and Andrew Shaw ended on the stick of Lehkonen and into the net, tying the game 1-1.

Montreal took the lead just a little over four minutes later on Brendan Gallagher's 32nd goal of the season. Left alone in front, Gallagher roofed a shot over Hutton's glove for the 2-1 lead. Later in the period, Andrew Shaw snapped a shot past Hutton for the two-goal lead. Exactly 30-seconds later, however, Alexander Nylander's power play goal pulled the Sabres back within one. Jack Eichel managed to maintain possession in the Montreal zone, working the puck to Rasmus Dahlin, who found Nylander alone for a one-time blast that ended up in the Canadiens net. The goal gave Nylander four points (2+2) in three games. 

Moments later, Marco Scandella tied things up with his fifth of the season. The Buffalo defenseman accepted a drop pass from Johan Larsson and ripped a shot by Carey Price, making it 3-3. Less than three minutes later, Montreal was back on top thanks to Paul Byron. The former Sabres draft pick forced a turnover at the Canadiens blue line and finished off an odd-man rush with goal number 14. 

After Gallagher's second of the evening made it 5-3, Eichel lifted a shot by price at 13:13 of the final frame for his 26th of the season. The goal marked a single-season career-high for the Buffalo captain and also gave him goals against all 30 teams in the league. Eichel became the second-youngest player to achieve that milestone, behind Aleksander Barkov. The Canadiens went back up by two once again just a little over two minutes later on Max Domi's power play goal. Tomas Tatar added an empty netter for the 7-4 lead, Tatar's 23rd of the season.


Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 12:26 - Sam Reinhart (19) (Casey Mittelstadt, Brandon Montour)

Second Period:

BUF: 14:53 - Alexander Nylander (2) PPG (Rasmus Dahlin, Jack Eichel); 16:08 - Marco Scandella (5) (Johan Larsson)
MTL: 5:09 - Artturi Lehkonen (9) (Andrew Shaw, Max Domi); 9:12 - Brendan Gallagher (32) (Phillip Danault); 14:23 - Andrew Shaw (18) (Max Domi, Brett Kulak); 18:03 - Paul Byron (14) (Jordan Weal, Nate Thompson)

Third Period:

BUF: 13:13 - Jack Eichel (26) (Unassisted)
MTL: 8:35 - Brendan Gallagher (33) (Shea Weber, Tomas Tatar); 15:30 - Max Domi (26) (Jeff Petry, Tomas Tatar); 17:47 - Tomas Tatar (23) EN (Brendan Gallagher, Phillip Danault)


Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 12:42 - Kyle Okposo (Slashing - 2 min.)
MTL: 16:09 - Artturi Lehkonen (Holding - 2 min.)

Second Period:

MTL: 14:43 - Christian Folin (Delay of game - 2 min.)

Third Period:

BUF: 14:26 - Zemgus Girgensons (Holding - 2 min.)
MTL: 9:06 - Andrew Shaw (Charging - 2 min., Roughing - 2 min.)

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 27 (8, 7, 12)
MTL: 44 (12, 20, 12)


BUF: Carter Hutton - 37 saves
MTL: Carey Price - 23 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 1 for 4 (25%)
MTL: 1 for 2 (50%)

Three Stars:

  1. Max Domi - MTL
  2. Brendan Gallagher - MTL
  3. Jack Eichel - BUF


What's Next:

Now officially out of the playoff race, the Sabres remain on the road for a game at New Jersey on Monday. The Devils have also been eliminated from playoff contention. Faceoff at Prudential Center is set for 7 p.m. on WGR 550, with pre-game at 6 p.m.

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