(Buffalo) Marcus Johansson found the back of the net at 1:30 of the overtime period to give the Buffalo Sabers a 5-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night at the KeyBank Center.
Johansson's goal spoiled Keith Kinkaid's first outing in the Canadian's net. The 30-year-old goalkeeper faced 39 shots while the Habs got 27 shots for Carter Hutton.
He also sabotaged a nice recovery of Claude Julien men, who erased a decline of two goals in the third period thanks to goals from Jesperi Kotkaniemi, his 2e of the season, and defenseman Ben Chiarot, his first in the Habs uniform.
Joel Armia, the first shorthanded, and the second, on the powerplay, scored the other two goals for the Canadian, both in the first period.
For the Canadiens, this is his second overtime loss in his first three outings of the season, all played abroad. Moreover, according to what the team's public relations department has announced, this is the first time in its history that the Canadiens must play an extra period in each of their first three games of the regular calendar.
The Montreal squad earned four points out of a possible six, following a loss to Carolina on Thursday and a spectacular win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
If the overall record of this first trip of the Canadian abroad is positive, it remains that the head coach Claude Julien was not entirely satisfied.
"It sure is a big point, especially on the road. Caroline, Toronto, they are good teams, Buffalo has a good start too. It is not that we are disappointed with four out of six points. I think we're a bit disappointed with the way we play and the way we have to get back into the games because our focus for 60 minutes is not always there, and that creates damage. "
The goal of Johansson, his second of the season, was scored just after the return to the rink of Phillip Danault, he was found in default for slashing at 19:25 of the third period.
Jack Eichel first fired a shot at Kinkaid's net, but the puck hit Chiarot's leg. The puck rebounded to the right of Kinkaid, until Colin Miller, who immediately made a pass in parallel to Johansson, left alone in the right circle faceoff. His shot on receipt gave no chance to the keeper of the Canadian.
If Armia was the Canadiens best player, he was eclipsed by Eichel. The Sabers captain also scored two goals, both in the second period, and added two assists. One of them came on the first goal of the game, scored by rookie Victor Olofsson, on a power play in the first twenty.
As a result, Olofsson tied a National Hockey League record by becoming the fourth player to score each of his first six career goals on the power play.
The sequence goes back to the end of last season when he hit the target twice in as many games.
Craig Norwich, in 1979-80 with the Winnipeg Jets, Sylvain Turgeon, in 1983-84 with the Hartford Whalers, and Jeff Norton, between the 1987-88 to 1989-90 seasons with the New York Islanders, also managed the tour de force.
The first goal of Eichel was successful in another numerical superiority.
"The penalties hurt us, that's for sure, when you look at their power play," lamented Julien. We have repeatedly missed opportunities to get the puck out of our zone. On that side, we are extremely responsible. We could have done a better job.
"By cons, he added, I can say that there are punishments that I'm not sure we deserved, but it's part of the" game ". You have to be better off, you have to stop playing catch-up hockey because at some point it's going to cost us a lot. We show a lot of character, but at the same time, we fall asleep in parts of the match where it is expensive, and we have to go back, especially in the third period. "
Moreover, Julien had good words for Kinkaid.
"He made big stops. There may be a goal he would like to see again, but at a disadvantage, the throws came from one side and the other. I think that in front of him, we could have done a better job. "
The Canadiens will resume the necklace on Thursday night, as he begins his home schedule with a visit from the Detroit Red Wings.