The Montreal Canadiens let four leads slip away last night and fell to the Buffalo 5-4 in a shootout in their pre-season opener.
Michael Bournival scored the only goal of the first period, and found the back of the net again early in the second. Erik Nystrom scored on a bullet of a wrist shot over Jhonas Enroth’s shoulder during a power play midway through the second, but all three goals were answered by the Sabres, and the teams headed to the third frame tied at three.
Montreal pulled ahead once again, as Martin St. Pierre converted a nice cross crease feed from first round pick Michael McCarron, but the Sabres were equal to the task once again, as Colton Gillies tied the game with just 4:24 to play.
The game went scoreless through overtime and Mikhail Grigorenko was the only player to find the back of the net during the shootout, propelling the Sabres to victory. Alex Galchenyuk, Martin Reway and Brendan Gallagher were all denied by Matt Hackett in the skills competition. Greg Pateryn chipped in three assists to lead the Habs offensively.
Peter Budaj started the game, and allowed two goals on 12 Sabres shots. Budaj gave way to Zach Fucale midway through the second period, and Fucale allowed two goals on fifteen shots.
The game became very chippy in the third period, with Sabres enforcer taking exception to Alex Galchenyuk’s clean body check and taking a few swings at the slick youngster. Kaleta was not as eager to drop his gloves when approached by Brandon Prust at center ice, instead electing to dive to the ice when cross checked by Prust.
Cody McCormick of the Sabres dropped the gloves twice in the game, resulting in a decent tilt with towering Hab defender Jarred Tinordi in the first perios, and bid Hab defenseman Davis Drewiske in the third.
The Canadiens are back on the ice tonight, as they play host to the Boston Bruins.