The Buffalo Sabres took the lead in the season series against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night at the First Niagara Center, defeating the Habs, 6-4.
The Habs didn’t waste much time getting on the board first, as rookie forward Sven Andrighetto tallied the fifth goal of his young career just 3:44 into the game. Andrighetto’s shot flew over Sabres goalie Chad Johnson’s glove, and the Sabres had to play from behind much earlier than they initially anticipated.
Although the Sabres started the period slow, they finished strong, scoring two goals throughout the first to give them a 2-1 lead heading into intermission. David Legwand would tie the game for Buffalo, scoring on a breakaway off of assists from Nicolas Deslauriers and Zach Bogosian.
The Sabres came out firing in the second, scoring two goals within the first three minutes of the period to increase their lead to three. Josh Gorges’ scored the first goal of the period, his second of the season and his first against the team he played eight seasons for.
Assists were initially given to Jack Eichel and Justin Bailey, but what would have been Bailey’s first career point was quickly taken away and given to Jamie McGinn. This would be the end of Canadiens’ goalie Ben Scrivens’ night, as he was replaced with rookie goaltender Mike Condon.
Condon didn’t fare much better for the Habs, as he let in the first shot that came his way. Phil Varone was able to score the second point of his career, as his shot deflected off of Marcus Foligno and into the back of the net, giving the Sabres the 4-1 lead.
That was just the start of the craziness that would ensue in the second period, as the Canadiens would score two of their own just minutes after the Sabres increased their lead to three. Alex Galchenyuk scored his first of the night on the power play following an Evander Kane holding penalty, and Sven Andrighetto would cut the Sabres lead to one with his second of the night just minutes after Galchenyuk’s goal.
The biggest story coming out of this game is the performance of Marcus Foligno. Moose’s two goals and assist gave him his first career three point game, a performance Sabres fans hope to see for years to come. Fans, players, and coaches alike were all delighted with Foligno’s performance, as Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Foligno’s play tonight is “an example of what he can be” – a physical player with the “skill to finish.”
Rasmus Ristolainen quietly played a strong game, racking up nearly thirty minutes of ice time. Although he didn’t have any flashy plays, he played sound defensively, finishing the game with two hits, a blocked shot, and a +3 rating.
Buffalo’s next game is Sunday afternoon when they play the Nathan Mackinnon-led Colorado Avalanche at the First Niagara Center.