BUFFALO — In a duel between the worst training home of the NHL and the worst team abroad, the visitors had slightly the advantage as the Montreal canadiens defeated the Sabres in Buffalo, 3-0, on Friday.
Artturi Lehkonen, with his 10th goal of the season, as well as Paul Byron and Brendan Gallagher, the two in an empty net, have hit the target and they have helped the Canadian (27-36-12) to put an end to a series of seven setbacks abroad (0-5-2). It is also for the men of Claude Julien to a second win only in their last 11 games (2-7-2).
“We haven’t had a big first period, which was a little disappointing, was looking at Julien. It was better responded in the second period, and third, even if we didn’t have a lot of throws, we had a lot that missed the net. It was not a bad period. In the end, it is a victory that feels good.”
Antti Niemi was pushed out of 35 shots, and has signed its 36th record a shutout in the NHL — his first since 22 December 2015, with the Dallas Stars face the Chicago black hawks.
Niemi has also taken advantage of the numerous opportunities bousillées by the players of the Sabres.
“He plays good hockey for us. All the world knows, has told Julien about the guardian acquired by the Canadian on November 14th via the runoff. It is encouraging to see a keeper like him in our team after a start of the difficult season and to play like he does. It is well deserved for him tonight. They have had chances to score because there has not been great in front of him, but he managed some key stops.”
Linus Ullmark was awarded a goal on 22 shots in front of the net of Swords (23-39-12), which suffered a third straight defeat.
Lack of opportunism
The Sabres have had the advantage in the beginning of the meeting, but they have failed to opportunism.
Marco Scandella has missed the target after a great pass cross-sectional, Ryan O’reilly, and Brendan Guhle has seen his shot of the reverse side to be easily blocked by Niemi.
At their best sequence of the period, the Sabres have seen Scott Wilson reach the pole, then Rasmus Ristolainen to be inaccurate then that he had all the time possible to clear his shot.
The Canadian has finally given a sign of life late in the engagement. Lehkonen has delighted the disk Guhle, advancing two-on-one with Alex Galchenyuk. His surrender was, however, deflected off of Scandella and Galchenyuk has split the air.
At the end of the period, Gallagher has mocked Scandella in neutral zone and then fired a good shot, but Ullmark has passed the judgment.
The Habs was the team dominant the return of the intermission, and he capitalized with 4:56. Lehkonen has taken advantage of a bond in favour of the tape after a shooting imprecise Jacob de la Rose to outwit Ullmark, who was compromised.
The Sabres have knocked at the door before the end of the second twenty. Niemi had to be a brilliant move by move in the face of Sam Reinhart. Then, O’reilly and Reinhart missed an open net on the same sequence after a wonderful feint of O’reilly to pay the costs of the guardian Finnish.
The Canadian then opened the door to the Sabres in the third period, when Nikita Scherbak and Lehkonen have been punished in a span of 54 seconds. However, the Sabres were unable to take advantage of their 66 seconds in the numerical advantage of two men. O’reilly got the wonderful opportunity, but it split the air wanting to take a shot on reception so that She was lying on the ice, because the puck was bouncing.
Byron and Gallagher have finally closed the books by scoring in an empty net at the end of the game.
The Canadian will pick up the necklace on Saturday (19h), when it will host the Washington Capitals at the Bell Centre.
THE FIVE MOMENTS OF THE MATCH
1) The premises are required
The Sabres have had the advantage in the beginning of the meeting and they had their most beautiful sequence with a little over seven minutes to go in the commitment. During a long-term presence in the territory of Canada, Scott Wilson first saw his shot reach the pole. The Sabres kept the puck in the territory of the visitors thereafter, and the defender Rasmus Ristolainen also has a scoring chance. Ristolainen has taken advantage of a lot of space to advance from the tip. While there was a lot of traffic in front of goalie Antti Niemi, Ristolainen took a shot of the cuffs, but the puck missed the frame.
2) The Canadian wakes up
After having been subjected to the pressure of the Sabres for the majority of the first twenty, the Canadian has finally generated a bit of offense late in the period. Alex Galchenyuk was first missed an open net after a descent of two against one with Artturi Lehkonen, when the delivery of the Finnish grazed the defender of the Sword Marco Scandella. Then, with seven seconds to make the commitment, Brendan Gallagher has bypassed Scandella in neutral zone and took advantage of a screen by Paul Byron on the defender Rasmus Ristolainen to take a good shot. However, the goalkeeper Linus Ullmark has been up to.
3) Lehkonen reached the ten
The Canadian has continued on its momentum from the end of the first period when returning to the dressing room and Artturi Lehkonen finally opened the scoring after 4:56. Alex Galchenyuk fired a shot after circling the net and the puck was deflected on Lehkonen before coming back in the enclave. Jacob de la Rose has jumped on the loose puck, but his shot missed the target. Lehkonen, however, was posted at the mouth of the net and he was able to accommodate the disc in the opening. It was for Lehkonen to a 10th goal this season.
4) Niemi stands out
The Sabres have been more affutés late in the second commitment and the keeper of the Canadian Antti Niemi has kept the fort. Posted behind the net of the visitors, Scott Wilson has joined his team-mate Sam Reinhart in front of it. The young striker has tried twice to beat Niemi, but the Finns resisted. A few seconds later, Ryan O’reilly has taken down the trousers of Niemi, but ran out of space to push the puck in a net abandoned. The puck slid to Reinhart, but he missed the target.
5) Unable to buy a goal
The Sabres have got a golden opportunity to level the score in the third period, when they were able to enjoy a numerical advantage of two men for 66 seconds. Goalkeeper Antti Niemi has first stopped a shot from the enclave of Jack Eichel. Niemi then played chance a few moments later when Ryan O’reilly, him again, missed an open net. This time, O’reilly was posted at the mouth of the net, but it split the air as the discount Kyle Okposo was jumping for joy.