For the second time in as many nights, the Buffalo Sabres allowed a lot of goals. Tonight would be a little different though, as the Sabres offense showed up to back up the poor defensive play.
Buffalo opened up this matchup with the Montreal Canadiens looking a little deflated from the night before, but that was expected. Coming off of a game the previous night, mixed with travel makes for heavy legs.
Montreal took advantage of this by getting on the board first. Sven Andrighetto grabbed the Canadiens first goal of the night, at 3:44 of the first period. That goes down as Andrighetto’s 5th goal of the season.
This is where things took a bit of a different turn for the Sabres. Normally, things go from bad to worse for Buffalo here. Tonight would play out a little differently.
David Legwand found himself with the puck on a mini-break a handful of minutes later. Instead of flubbing the shot, Legwand flipped the puck past Ben Scrivens. Legwand’s 4th of the season, at 12:50 of the first, tied things up at 1.
The Sabres were not satisfied with just one goal in the first though, which came as a surprise to a few fans.
Evander Kane continued his solid season with a goal very late in the first, at 19:42 to be exact. It wasn’t a perfect pass from Marcus Foligno, following a Canadiens’ turnover, but it got the job done. Kane’s 14th of the season gave Buffalo a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
When the second began, the Sabres came out with their foot on the gas pedal, and the pedal was pinned to the floor.
Josh Gorges extended Buffalo’s lead to 3-1 just 1:28 into the second. Gorges’ 2nd goal of the season comes against his former franchise.
Less than a minute later, Marcus Foligno grabbed his 5th goal of the season to shockingly put the Sabres up 4-1, just 2:18 into the second period.
As we’ve seen before though, the Buffalo Sabres love to sit back when they get a lead and this was the same story tonight.
Montreal took their first step toward cutting the Sabres’ large lead down just a few minutes after Foligno’s goal.
The Canadiens found themselves on the power play and Alex Galchenyuk found himself wide open in the slot. Unfortunately for Buffalo, Andrei Markov also realized where Galchenyuk was on the ice.
With little hesitation, Galchenyuk blasted the puck past Chad Johnson. Galchenyuk’s 13th of the season, at 4:47 of the second, pulled Montreal within 2 goals.
The goal scoring barrage would continue, thanks to a gift from Chad Johnson.
Johnson found himself behind his own net, looking to clear the puck out to one of his teammates. Nothing but bad news came from this play. Chad Johnson cycled the puck right and directly onto Sven Andrighetto’s stick.
Andrighetto scored what will likely be the easiest goal of his career, which officially goes in the book as his 6th goal of the season. At just 6:48 of the second period, we had ourselves a 4-3 contest. Oh how fast things can change when both teams are playing very poor hockey.
Scoring would calm down for a bit, and luckily Buffalo would be the next team to get on the board.
Marcus Foligno, continuing one of his best games of the season, worked his way into a penalty shot and the rest, as they say, is history. Take a look.
Foligno scores on the penalty shot pic.twitter.com/oI9LWlXaMo
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) February 13, 2016
Foligno’s 6th of the season, and 2nd of the game, at 17:41 of the second extended Buffalo’s lead back to a 2-goal advantage.
The period full of goals did not stop there, as Montreal got the last laugh in the 2nd. It would be Alex Galchenyuk, again on the power play, who cut the Montreal’s deficit to just one goal. Galchenyuk’s 14th of the season, and 2nd of the game, came at 19:38 of the second.
Buffalo’s third period consisted of them defensively crawling in a hole and trying to make sure they don’t lose, instead of attacking and trying to win. Does that sound familiar, because it seems to happen every time Buffalo has a third period lead.
That last sentence really summed up the third period in a nutshell. Not many great chances for Buffalo and quite a few for Montreal.
The final nail in the coffin would come at 19:05 of the third period, when Evander Kane (with an assist from the referee) scored an empty-net goal. Kane went to clear the puck down ice but the puck instead hit a referee’s skate and stopped. Kane took advantage of this and put home his 15th goal of the season, and 2nd of the game.
Buffalo would go on to defeat the Montreal Canadiens, 6-4. This victory elevates Buffalo’s record to 22-28-6 with 50 points on the season, and y’all said the Sabres aren’t going to be better this year. Psh..it’s time for the quick hits.
- The Moose melts hearts.
Marcus “Moose” Foligno melted the hearts of Sabres fans throughout the area tonight with a career-best performance. 2 goals and an assist, the first time Foligno has ever recorded 3 points in a National Hockey League game.
The people were going crazy on the interwebs. It was fantastic.
I am often hard on Foligno because I feel like his star was blown up a little too soon, but when he gets hot you don’t want to fool around with him.
To put tonight into perspective, Foligno scored 6.25% of his career goals tonight (2 of 32). Don’t @ me for talking bad about Foligno.
Here’s a dancing moose so we can be friends again.
- Top 6
This feels like the Myspace days. Those of you who don’t know what Myspace is, stop being so god damn young.
The Sabres top six is full of fantastic talent and potential. After tonight’s exciting defenseless game, 4 of the Sabres top 6 offensive players have at least 15 goals. The 5th player, Jamie McGinn, has 12 goals.
Some people think Tim Murray isn’t doing things right, but look at last year’s stats. Yeah, he’s doing alright with these guys.
Fix that bottom six and this team will be a lot better.
- Defense is offensive.
Holy shit, man. What in the holy hell is happening to this group of defensemen?
Last night in Philadelphia, Buffalo coughs up 5 goals. Tonight, they add 4 more to that total.
Yeah, they won but what gives? What made this defense bad all of a sudden? I know the defense has not been great for most of the season but this is ridiculous.
Buffalo didn’t win because they played fantastic. Buffalo won because they played a team that can’t get out of their own way. Montreal dominated possession tonight and would’ve crushed Buffalo any other season, but this year they’re currently on the way to completing a Carey Price-snakebitten season.
- Praise the lord, baby Jesus.
Sabres win at home.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) February 13, 2016
- marcus foligno
will u be my valentine?