Gamenight: Sabres and Canadiens tied 1-1 after first period

October 5, 2017

The Buffalo Sabres officially open the Phil Housley Era, welcoming the Montreal Canadiens to KeyBank Center. Jason Pominville's power play goal had given Buffalo a 1-0 lead over Montreal in the first period.

First Period

18:33 - A little bit of a rough start for the Sabres and Montreal had two very good scoring chances off of a Rasmus Ristloainen turnover. 

17:31 - Now the Sabres are called for a face-off violation minor penalty. Get ready, that is one of the new big things for the NHL and a "point of emphasis" from the league going into the season.

15:26 - The minor is killed very well by the blue and gold thanks to good team defense and forcing Montreal to keep the puck to the outside. I am not sold on the Canadiens this year. I totalaly understand why they invested in Carey Price, he is going to have to steal them more games than the offense is going to win for him, in my opinion.

13:12 - Buffalo does not score on their first power play opportunity, but go right back to it thanks to a slashing minor to Tomas Plekanec. The Sabres had several "Grade A" scoring chances but could not convert. Sam Reinhart and Evander Kane each had open nets but failed to score.

11:30 - SABRES GOAL. Oh my, what a transition goal off of a turnover by Jason Pominville. Welcome back to Buffalo, Jason! He receives a perfect pass in stride and roofs it into the top corner of the net on the backhand thanks to the Seth Griffith pass. 1-0 BUF.

9:26 - More than halfway through the opening stanza and the shots are even, 8-8. However, since Montreal collected the first seven shots of the game Buffalo has roared back with eight of their own. That is thanks in part to their power play opportunities for nearly four straight minutes. All four lines are rolling early, and that will be something we see all season long when the team looks to press the pace against the opposition. 

5:50 - Buffalo has owned the possession and shots on goal ever since Montreal opened with the first seven. They are ten aside, but the best of the chances have been taken by the Sabres. The fans are into the game, and the energy on the ice is higher than we saw on most nights last season.

2:04 - CANADIENS GOAL. Ryan O'Reilly flubs a pass in his own zone, and it results in the equalizer for the visitors. From one knee Max Pacioretty is able to fire the shot past Robin Lehner. while Jonathan Drouin assists on the goal. 1-1 tie.

End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: 8:30 - Jason Pominville (1) PPG (Seth Griffith)

MTL: 17:56 - Max Pacioretty (1) (Jonathan Drouin, Brendan Gallagher)

Penalty Summary

BUF: 2:29 - Team (2 min., face-off violation)

MTL: 4:48 - Ales Hemsky (2 min., delay of game). 6:48 - Tomas Plekanec (2 min., slashing)

Shots on Goal

BUF - 11, MTL - 17