Liveblog: Game 69 – Canadiens skunk Sabres, complete winning weekend

CelebrateBuff

Four big points

Dale Weise and Brendan Gallagher scored first-period goals and Dustin Tokarski made 29 saves to record his first NHL shutout as the Canadiens completed a four-point weekend.

The game wasn't as exciting as the Saturday night miracle against Ottawa. But a win is a win, and the Canadiens seem back on track.

Done and dusted

Shots were 11-6 Buffalo.

So what?

Enroth out

A quiet second period featured the departure of  Jhonas Enroth.

The Sabres goaltender was banged up in a collision with onrushing Brendan Gallagher and replaced by Nathan Lieuwen, making his NHL debut.

Canadiens outshot the Sabres 15-9.

No letdown

The reconfigured forward lines are looking good in Buffalo, as is Dustin Tokarski.

The goaltender stopped Drew Stafford on a breakaway before Dale Weise scored his first goal as a Canadien, deflecting a David Desharnais shot past Jhonas Enroth.

Brendan Gallagher, with his 17th, doubled the Canadiens' lead.

Canadiens outshot the Sabres 11-9.

Anticlimax?

How will the Canadiens and Sabres top what Carey Price aptly labelled a "gong show"?

They probably won't ... and that's a blessing for the cardio-vascular health of Habs fans.

Fearless prediction: If a team is leading by three goals with less than four minutes to play at the First Niagara Center Sunday night, it will win the game.

The Canadiens are 2-0 against the Sabres this season, winning 3-1 in Buffalo on Nov. 27 and 3-2 at the Bell Centre Dec. 27.

While the Canadiens were mounting their ridiculous comeback against Ottawa, Buffalo was losing 4-1 to the Islanders. The Sabres have the fewest points in the NHL and the league's worst goal differential: minus-68.

Carey Price did not make the trip. Peter Budaj starts.

Puck drops 7:10ish. Check back later for live game blogging.

• I wonder how this will play in the room. P.K. has his own website

671 Comments

  1. Gehlsen says:

    Well night all…boring game but a win is a win.

    Les Habitant!

  2. B says:

    Dogs last in their division and 12 points out of a playoff spot. They have 14 games left, 10 of them on the road.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  3. The Teacher says:

    Win number 2 of at least a four game winning streak b

  4. B says:

    McCarron scores his 18th in London’s last game the regular season. His Knights take on Vail and Windsor in the first round, game one Friday night.

    Crisp scores his 28th and adds an assist in his last regular season game. Wolves take on Barrie in the first round, game one Thursday night.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  5. Sportfan says:

    LOL my mother walks by my tv and she hears Steve Kouleas and says “Why is that man yelling so much?”

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  6. Gehlsen says:

    There is a restaurant near dairy queen on st Catherine’s by place des arts that makes wicked sandwiches but I can’t remember the name….It’s been awhile since I’ve been back.
    Anyone know?

    Les Habitant!

  7. chesterfiled says:

    I love this team because they are so difficult to like. This is like 2008 with more dirty horses in the barn minus my favorite, Koivu who sifted more than a decade of merde… if the team wins two handfuls, is victorious in a first round, the city does not riot, I am all in for the coolaid

  8. habstrinifan says:

    Just askin… has Vanek/Briere/EllER been on ice together.. you know shift overlap/change etc???

    I am so keeping fingers crossed for that .. something tells me would be majic all around if it happens …. even by accident.

  9. Sportfan says:

    Safe to say there won’t be a Richard type riot tomorrow :P

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  10. zoomzip says:

    The Power play is really starting to worry me. And so is that monkey on Vanek’s back.

  11. Danno says:

    test

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
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  12. Habfun says:

    Habs have 81 points now Leafs have 80! the world is as it should be. now we just need Tampa to move back up in the 3rd slot, leafs drop down to the wild card and this would be a perfect world. Nothing against the leafs but we don’t want to meet in the first round, maybe we could both make it through to the 2nd round!

    It’s all about the CH

  13. Ohmanohman, something special is gonna happen with Vanek…..when he starts to score, look out, because he aint getting no payday like this. Should be a great playoff run! :)

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Congrats Carey Price and PK Subban, Montreal’s Gold Medal Members!

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    ALN should arrive soon, assuming Boone was writing it throughout the 2nd and 3rd period.

    Good win, as for Toker, smoke ‘em if u got ‘em!

  15. Habcouver says:

    Is Tokar a look-alike to Michael Buble?

    We Are (Not) All Canucks.
    Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  16. CJ says:

    Four points this weekend. Exactly what we needed. Better get ready. We have three tough games next week. It’s been a long weekend. I’ll catch up with everyone in the morning.

    Quick shoot out to Weise, Tinordi, Tokarski and DD who I thought were all very good. Very much a team effort, but it’s nice to throw the spot light on some of the unheralded players, plus DD, who has really enjoyed a great bounce back following a tough start.

    Have a great night everyone! Let’s enjoy second in the division and third in the conference before getting back at it tomorrow morning (assuming that there is a practice). Maybe they can pick up Beaulieu on the road home. Cheers, CJ

  17. Danno says:

    Who were the three stars?

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
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  18. Mr. Biter says:

    What a difference 2 wins and 4 points make in the standings & of course losses by other teams. Great week especially if the wings lose.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  19. Sportfan says:

    I want to point out when the Habs came back in the 5-0 game they had an amazing run that go them first place in the conference> I’m not saying that they will be in first, but yesterdays game has given them a spark that should be good enough down the stretch.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  20. morivera says:

    Duncan Keith with 50 assists now. Wow.

  21. habstrinifan says:

    Nice watching a game without nerves. Poor Buffalo.. right now.

  22. habs001 says:

    A game the Habs have to win..Some Habs have to step up in the playoffs and play much better…Plecks has to be able to provide way more impact in the playoffs…

  23. scrotchland says:

    lucky win..
    toharski is a thorobread
    I guess manny wasnt at tonights game? they won.

    • Mattyleg says:

      :D

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • chesterfiled says:

      How do you boo bad satire? The poster DDO had the best line I read a few months back, something like ‘too many positive police on this site’… I like to read criticisms in wins and losses… I like people who try too hard, except if they if they ruin my buzz. Scrotchland please write something funny

      • Adidess says:

        I can’t even tell whether that is satire, honestly :)

        Couldn’t agree more on the ‘positive police’ thing. We’re all Habs fans on this site (ok most of us), therefore we’re all here to share views on your favorite team. I don’t understand why some people feel they need to tell others what to think, in addition to expressing their own views. Guess what, you may think that what you see or believe is closer to the truth, but the reality is we each have our own biases. Let others express themselves. The best way to convince somebody of your point of view is to put forward arguments that will speak to them. Calling them idiots won’t work and it actually makes you look silly.

  24. Mattyleg says:

    Yay.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  25. Danno says:

    Leafs lose. Sens lose. Habs win.

    The universe is unfolding as it should! :mrgreen:

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  26. Harditya says:

    Really happy for Tokarski. Kid has been very solid in the ‘A’ and his stint with the Habs.

  27. Danno says:

    Toker owes PK a drink or two for his play on Dagostini.

    That was a good penalty

    ________________________________________

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  28. slapshot777 says:

    Back in Third place.

  29. Mondou6 says:

    Good for Toker.

  30. NLhabsfan says:

    First shutout.., great stuff

  31. Et le but says:

    1st career shut out for Tokarski…well earned

  32. Danno says:

    Toker Stones the Sabres!

    All hail the Toker!!!

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  33. Storman says:

    Hands of Moen comes in handy in mucking times

  34. RH says:

    I don’t think JJ Daigneault’s hair is real. Too thick, lush and full bodied for a coach on the Montreal Canadians.

  35. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Is their many uglier uniforms than buffalo? What’s with the grey?

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  36. Mondou6 says:

    I don’t want Vanek to get the empty-netter. Make him work for it.

  37. HabinBurlington says:

    Have to believe Nolan wishes he had his Latvian roster these days.

  38. HabinBurlington says:

    Max shot off the end of the stick handle?

  39. habstrinifan says:

    Nice Sabre goalie poke check!

  40. Prop says:

    Who was it that said Emelin doesn’t hit?

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  41. Hobie Hansen says:

    Vanek empty netter?

  42. NLhabsfan says:

    What hit

  43. RH says:

    They need an insurance goal here….

  44. Coach K says:

    I’ll give Vanek one thing…he routinely goes to the high value areas in the offensive zone to get in position for a scoring chance. The only other Hab who does that regularly is Gallagher.

    —When Hell freezes over, I’ll play hockey there too—

  45. frontenac1 says:

    Sick Dangle by PK!!

  46. RH says:

    Too bad 76 couldn’t capitalize on that sickness he pulled!

  47. Hobie Hansen says:

    Is Michel Therrien destroying Tom Vanek?

  48. w.p.d says:

    They’re playing as if it was the second period…….

  49. jctremblay says:

    PK…just starting to tap all that potential..going to be fun to watch the next 5-7 years if we keep him..

  50. Prop says:

    What a ridiculous deke by PK!

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  51. Storman says:

    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF me high skill PK

  52. habstrinifan says:

    Wish I understood ‘spoken’ french more.

  53. Dave Jones says:

    Vanek will score soon the way he’s going with DD and Max. The great thing about things working between them on that top line is that it frees up Gallagher to slot in with Pleks or Eller, improving whichever line needs it. In this sense, with Vanek, we go from one scoring line to potentially three.

    I am eager to see Tinordi and Beaulieu each take on bigger roles with this team. They have looked very good this year in limited action. I wonder if MB is just managing the cap, holding them out of the line up in the short term so they don’t earn themselves unmanageable contracts coming off their entry level deals? But I’m not sure what the rules (the CBA) are on that sort of stuff.

  54. Prop says:

    Vanek reacting like he does tells me that he wants to produce.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  55. Storman says:

    Vanek smiling because he does not have to wear that awful Husky Snow Sabre Jersey

  56. habstrinifan says:

    Just watched a beautiful defensive shift by P.K. Battling/movement/recovery.grit. hustle/close quarters…. all on 1 shift… a very hard shift.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I thought MT had already permanently destroyed his game? Hasn’t that been widely reported here?

      • habstrinifan says:

        I’m being generically appreciative of a great defensive shift.. it had everything a defenseman can experience in one shift.. including ‘recovery’.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          He is playing great last few games. I shouldn’t have been so sarcastic, just think that the death of his game due to MT is grossly exaggerated here.

          He is human like any other young player and is gaining consistency in his game.

          • habstrinifan says:

            Just saying , as a hockey shift, was good hard defense. Of course wasnt against the KINGS etc… but still good teaching clip I think.

      • Adidess says:

        Haha. Did Timo really say that?

  57. Hobie Hansen says:

    Vanek with an empty netter?

  58. Seda Moss says:

    Vanek’s $7 million smile.

  59. HabsPooch says:

    Vanek has stop shaking his head after every shift. The world won’t end if he doesn’t score.

  60. McKanadiens says:

    Nobody gets shots from the slot nearly as often as Vanek!

  61. Danno says:

    Vanek shaking his head in disbelief

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  62. Mondou6 says:

    What will come first?

    1) We clinch a playoff spot

    -or-

    2) Vanek scores a goal

  63. Hobie Hansen says:

    Vanek starting to get chances at least…

  64. w.p.d says:

    Vanek’s going crap himself soon if he keeps missing the net.

  65. Et le but says:

    Desharnais playing with so much confidence and skill…

  66. Prop says:

    No panek for Vanek…

    Did I do it right?

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  67. Storman says:

    Loving Vanek,, he will be fine,,

  68. Blondie says:

    Vanek’s going to get one soon.

  69. Marc10 says:

    Vanek is missing Tavares… But he’ll be alright. I’m hoping he pulls a Kovy and shows up in the playoffs.

  70. Marc10 says:

    I hate how well Conacher plays against us. Same with Ennis.

  71. Mondou6 says:

    Every game Vanek goes scoreless, you can see him getting nervous about his next contract.

    Best case for us is he doesn’t score in the regular season, and then has to put on a crazy show in the playoffs to justify his next contract.

  72. Prop says:

    Boone, if you’re gonna have a coffee, be sure to Irish it up!

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  73. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    If was mtl coach I’d doubleshift Vanek. He needs to score NOW.

  74. Hobie Hansen says:

    There we go, nice shot Vanek.

  75. Storman says:

    If Vanek and Pacioretty get hot at the same time, I would hate to be a chicken.


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