Sabres vs Canadiens Recap: Bad Luck or Missed Opportunities?

(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

Saturday March 23rd, 2013

Game Recap: Depending on your perspective, Habs didn’t get the bounces or didn’t captialize on their chances.

10th in the East
2nd in the East
Sabres_logo  MontrealCanadiens



 FINAL 1 2 3 T
 Sabres 0 2 0 2
 Canadiens 0 0 1 1

Top Scorers:

  • Thomas Vanek 2G
  • Christian Ehrhoff 1A
  • Cody Hodgson 1A 3SOG
  • Ville Leino 1A
  • Tyler Ennis 1A
  • Michael Ryder 1G
  • Andrei Markov 1A
  • Tomas Plekanec 8SOG
  • Max Pacioretty 7SOG

Scoring Summary:

G Per Time Str Team Goal Scorer Assist Assist
1 2 10:25 PP BUF 26 T.VANEK(15) 10 C.EHRHOFF(12) 19 C.HODGSON(16)
2 2 19:21 EV BUF 26 T.VANEK(16) 63 T.ENNIS(15) 23 V.LEINO(4)
3 3 8:17 PP MTL 73 M.RYDER(10) 79 A.MARKOV(16)


Shots on Goal:

 FINAL 1 2 3 T
 Sabres 5 8 5 18
 Canadiens 13 9 17 39



Miller RyanRyan Miller

Record: 11-13-4
SA: 39
Sv%: .974

Carey PriceCarey Price
Record: 16-5-4
SA : 18
Sv%: .889

Lineup Notes:

  • Habs starting six: David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, Josh Gorges, P.K. Subban, Carey Price
  • Scratched: Tomas Kaberle, Jeff Halpern, Ryan White (lower body)
  • Travis Moen played his 600th NHL game.
  • There was a pre-game ceremony honouring the 60th anniversary of Hockey Night in Canada. Dick Irvin took part in a ceremonial faceoff.
(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

What you need to know:

  • Some blamed the officiating for the loss, then there were fans who said that injuries are finally having an effect, and others thought it was a case of bad bounces. So much for no excuses.
  • While the Canadiens took 39 shots on goal, they had few second and third chance opportunities. Net presence is a problem. Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller was not as solid as his first star would suggest.
  • It was a 5-on-3 advantage for the Sabres, but the bottom line is that the Habs given up another goal to an opposition power-play. Jeff Halpern was picked up to help the penalty-kill but the problem is the scheme being used rather than personnel.
  • Lars Eller was mocked for holding the puck while cruising through the Sabres zone. The criticism should be levelled at Colby Armstrong who could not get in a good shooting position. Better still would be to question why Eller’s skills aren’t being complimented by more talented linemates.
  • While injuries affect the lineup, they are also part of the game. It’s fortunate that the Habs have not lost their number one player at any position on the depth chart. Ask the Ottawa Senators what that is all about. Question is, should the Habs really need their A-plus lineup to defeat non-playoff teams?
  • There are three teams in the Eastern Conference that have given up more than 100 goals so far this season; the Canadiens faced two of  them this week.  Picking up just three of a possible six points against weak opponents has to be considered a disappointment.
  •  Habs are 14-2-4 in their last 20 games.
  • A tougher week upcoming with Boston and Pittsburgh on the schedule.

Injury/Roster Report:

  • No new Habs injuries.

 NHL 3 Stars:
  1.  Ryan Miller
  2.  Thomas Vanek
  3.  Michael Ryder

 Post-game Chatter:

Coach Michel Therrien:

  • “It’s bad luck. I thought we played a solid game. We dictated the game. We skated hard. Guys came ready to play. I liked their intensity. We were competing hard to the net, competing hard to loose pucks. The result was not on our side tonight.”
  • “[Galchenyuk] went through a little slump. It’s normal for a young kid. But for the last two weeks he’s skating hard. He’s making plays. He’s going to the net. As long as the chances are there, as long as the young man is competing, good things will eventually happen. It’s a good sign.”
  • On Gallagher playing with ‘reckless abandon’: “It’s the only way he knows how to play. It takes courage to play the way he is playing. Brendan has a lot of courage.”
(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

Michael Ryder:

  • “I think we got in there, we pushed them, got some good chances and, you know it’s just one of those games where you play well and you don’t win. It’s just what happened. We’ve got to give Buffalo credit; they played well in front of Miller and played pretty solid not letting us get to the net too much.”

Josh Gorges:

  • “We got a lot of rubber on him but we’ve got to make it difficult for him to see pucks and we’ve got to get on those second and third opportunities.”

Sabres interim coach Ron Rolston:

  • “It was good for our guys to be able to come in here twice in a week and get two wins. With the team that Montreal has, they’ve only lost five games [in regulation time] all season, six now, but they’re a great hockey team. So to come in here and get two wins is really good for our hockey team, it’s a positive sign.”

Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller:

  • “I think when we stick to a patient game, we can play with teams that have established a good reputation, that have established a good record like Montreal. But it’s a matter of doing it night in and night out consistently, and we’ll have to build that consistency and recognize what it does on the ice.”

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