The Sabres rallied in Montreal on Wednesday night for a 4-2 victory, setting a new franchise record, earning points for the first time ever in seven straight division games.
Coming out of the All-Star break, the Sabres started slow, getting outshot 7-1 in the first half of the period. But the Sabres made their only shot count with Marcus Foligno registering his fourth of the year after a great feed across the middle from Zemgus Girgensons.
Robin Lehner continued his fantastic play since coming back from injury, stopping 33 of the 35 Montreal shots.
Johan Larsson took a poor hooking penalty just 2:11 in and on the power play Montreal was able to tie the game at 1 apiece with Dale Weise putting an easy rebound in after Pacioretty threw the puck on net from the right point. P.K. Subban had the secondary assist.
Montreal took the lead a little more than halfway into the second. Alex Galechenyuk blew past the usually reliable Ryan O’Reilly to stake Montreal out to a 2-1 lead. Tomas Plekanec recorded the assist on the play. Buffalo outshot Montreal 10-9 in the second, but couldn’t convert on either power play, leaving the second period down 2-1. Evander Kane had a nice breakaway in the period but was denied by Habs netminder Mike Condon who finished the game with 28 saves on 31 shots.
Seven minutes into the third, Tom Gilbert took a tripping penalty giving Buffalo their third power play of the game. The third time was the charm after Rasmus Ristolainen read the play beautifully, throwing a puck to a crowded net that Jamie McGinn put in for his 11th to tie the game at two. Jack Eichel recorded the other assist on the goal.
Buffalo took the lead with under 9 minutes remaining when Johan Larsson atoned for his previous mistake with his 2nd of the year with assists going to Jake McCabe and Cody Franson.
Montreal applied some pressure and finished the period leading in shots 14-11 and the game 35 to 32. But the Habs couldn’t beat Robin Lehner and Brian Gionta iced the game with 13 seconds left on an empty net goal with an assist from Ryan O’Reilly.
The Sabres have now improved to over .500 (12-11-2) on the year on the road and are a woeful 9-15-2 at home… the most home losses in the league. They have a chance to change that starting Thursday night at First Niagara Center against the Bruins. Game time is 7 p.m.