After clinging to the game by their fingernails for one period Saturday, the Buffalo Sabres fell apart in the second and were pummeled by the Montreal Canadiens, 6-1.
Buffalo was down only one goal after 20 minutes despite registering only one shot the entire period. Ryan Miller made 14 saves in the stanza, but he couldn't stop the 15th, a Rene Bourque deflection of a Brian Gionta shot with only eight seconds remaining.
That hole in the dike flooded in the second period, during which Buffalo's defensemen seemed ceaselessly a step behind the play. Brendan Gallagher got credit for a goal two minutes in that went in off Christian Ehrhoff's stick. Gallagher was on a two-on-one break with Alex Galchenyuk, and Ehrhoff got turned around by the two Canadiens. He laid his stick on the ice to block the cross-ice pass but instead knocked the puck in.
Tyler Myers and Jordan Leopold then look downright lost on the next two goals, which were scored less than 30 seconds apart. David Desharnais split the blueliners in a three-on-two break to make the score 3-0. Then seconds later Tyler Ennis hit the crossbar, and the Canadiens turned the rebound into another offensive rush with Lars Eller converting – through both defenders – to make the score 4-0. Buffalo actually outshot Montreal 12-6 for the period, but the Sabres wasted three second period power plays to remain off the board.
Yet another odd-man rush made the score 5-0 early in the third period. Bourque scored his second of the game off a Tomas Plekanec, easily tipping the puck past Jhonas Enroth – who replaced Miller to start the third period. The Sabres avoided the shutout with a short-handed goal about two minutes later from Thomas Vanek, who bounced the puck off Carey Price and into the net on a breakaway. But Montreal got it back late in the period on the power play, with Desharnais banging in a rebound to Enroth's left to make the score 6-1 with seven minutes left. That closed out the scoring, but Buffalo actually managed 18 shots in the final period to make the shots 32-31 for Montreal for the game.
Miller saved 17 of 21 shots, while Enroth made nine saves on 11 shots. Buffalo ended the afternoon 0-for-6 on the power play. Myers finished -3 with no points, shots or hits in 16:56 ice time.
"You see me out there," he replied when asked after the game how his confidence is. "What do you think?"
Buffalo returns home for a 3 p.m. faceoff Sunday against the Florida Panthers.Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL
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