The Buffalo Sabres were 7-4-1 entering Bell Centre Tuesday night for a rematch with the division leading Montreal Canadiens. Buffalo edged the Canadiens 3-2 in Overtime 10 days earlier. Meanwhile, All-Star Habs goaltender Carey Price has returned to form coming back from the All-Star break.
The first period saw the kind of start Sabres fans have begun to expect out of their team. The shots and scoring opportunities were about even between the two clubs through the first twenty minutes. However, with a little under three minutes left in the first frame, Montreal Captain Max Pacioretty began a memorable night when he jammed home a feed from Alexander Radulov to give his team the 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission. The second period was a forgettable period for the Buffalo Sabres. Every zone entry seemed to be a spontaneous fail. Pacioretty added another goal at 7:48 into the period followed by a goal by David Desharnais a few minutes later. The team wearing away colors put began a bit of a fight leading up to the fourth goal for the Habs. Paul Byron seemed to crush the sudden spark when he put in his 14th of the season topping off scoring for the second frame.
Max Pacioretty scored his third goal of the night at 3:24 into the final period for his 5th career hat trick. A bright side did appear for the Sabres when Dmitry Kulikov, a controversial offseason defensive acquisition for the Buffalo, scored his first goal of the season on an assist from Ryan O’Reilly. A little over a minute later, former Montreal forward and now Sabres Captain Brian Gionta scored a neat wrap around to make it 5-2.
There would be no further spark for the visitors for the rest of the game. The game ended 5-2 for the home team. The Sabres will return to Buffalo Thursday night for a match against the New York Rangers.