Sabres’ Thomas Vanek crashes the crease of Canadiens’ Cristobal Huet during tonight’s first period.
John Mahoney, Gazette
Consider this the weekend the Canadiens were buffaloed. Literally.
Twenty-four hours after being handled 4-2 by the Sabres at HSBC Arena, the Canadiens were outskated, outshot and outscored by the same Northeast Division rival tonight, falling 3-0 to a disgruntled and not afraid to show it sellout crowd at the Bell Centre.
The Canadiens outhit the Sabres 36-23, if you’re looking for small victories. But Montreal was outshot 35-24, so there.
It was the Sabres’ fourth victory in a row and a dramatic reversal of fortune for the visitors; the Canadiens had won the last four Bell Centre games between the two teams, outscoring Buffalo 14-8.
Buffalo’s Jaroslav Spacek and Thomas Vanek beat Canadiens goalie Cristobal Huet in the first period. Jochen Hecht backhanded the puck almost the length of the ice into an empty Montreal goal in the final minute to complete the scoring. Well-travelled former Habs netminder Jocelyn Thibault earned a very satisfying shutout.
The Canadiens return to action Tuesday night in Toronto, head to New Jersey to take on the Devils on Friday, then return to Montreal for a date next Saturday against the Nashville Predators.