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Surging Sabres sink Canadiens in OT


Marcus Johansson scored 1:30 into overtime, leading the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.

Jack Eichel scored twice and added two assists, and the Sabres improved to 3-0-1, the team’s best start since opening the 2009-10 season 4-0-1. Rookie Victor Olofsson matched an NHL record in becoming the fourth NHL player to score first six career goals on the power play in a game Buffalo converted two of five opportunities.

Jeff Skinner also scored and defenceman Rasmus Dahlin had two assists, while Carter Hutton stopped 23 shots and improved to 3-0.

Joel Armia scored twice and added an assist in a game the Canadiens rallied from a two-goal, third-period deficit. Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Ben Chiarot, with the tying goal with 7:06 remaining, also scored for the Canadiens (1-0-2)

Keith Kincaid stopped 34 shots, including getting his right pad out to stop Skinner redirecting Johansson’s pass into the crease with 2:51 remaining.

Turning point

The game was decided just as Montreal’s Paul Byron exited the penalty box while serving a slashing penalty.

Eichel’s shot from the slot was blocked by Chiarot and the puck dribbled to Sabres defenceman Colin Miller in the left circle. Miller immediately slid a pass to Johansson, who swept it into the open side from the right circle.

Eichel scored the most impressive goal of the game in putting Buffalo ahead 3-2 late in the second period.

Circling with the puck inside his zone, Eichel eluded Tomas Tatar’s check at his own blue line and then built up a head of steam driving through the neutral zone. With Chiarot and Jeff Petry backing up, Eichel fired a low hard shot that sneaked in under Kincaid.

Montreal was coming off a 6-5 shootout win at Toronto on Saturday in which the Canadiens rallied from a 4-1 deficit. The Habs also overcame a 2-0 deficit in a season-opening 4-3 shootout loss at Carolina last week.

Super power

The Sabres entered the game tied for league lead in converting 60% of their power-play chances (6 of 10), before Olofsson capitalized on Buffalo’s first opportunity with a one-timer off Eichel’s pass into the right circle to open the scoring 5:04 into the first period.

The 24-year-old Swede’s power-play goal streak dates to the two he scored in two games last season.

Winnipeg’s Craig Norwich in 1979-80, Hartford’s Sylvain Turgeon in 1983-84 and Islanders’ Jeff Norton, from 1987-88 to 1989-90, also scored their first six career on the power play.

Read more at CBC.ca