The Buffalo Sabres were shut out tonight in Montreal by the score of 2-0. Buffalo was out-shot 35-24, with a quarter of those coming in a third period flurry in the Canadiens zone with less than a minute to play and a 6-on-4 advantage.
Below is the game’s Three Stars:
3. Tori Mitchell
Mitchell logged 5:42 on the penalty kill and came up with a huge block during one of Montreal’s six kills. He also earned a tripping call on Montreal’s P.K. Subban in the third period with a minute left and ended the night with a +/- of zero. What he lacks in skill he made up for tonight in heart, which these days is all the Sabres have.
2. Ted Nolan
Yes, Mr. Nolan deserves this. The Sabres suffered their 10th shutout of the season, and their second 2-0 loss at the hands of Montreal in the last 10 days. Buffalo’s offense is…offensive. Despite his best efforts, Nolan has been left to lead a team with a huge hole in the talent department. From stick handling in their own zone to missed opportunities from point-blank range, this Sabres team lacks basic skills to make simple plays. A three-year contract has reportedly been in the hands of attorneys for a week now. May Nolan be having second thoughts?
1. Matt Hackett
In a game which Buffalo was out-shot by double digits and failed to score, Hackett deserves the most credit. As most Sabre goaltenders have experienced, a lack of defense followed up with a lack of offense usually results in the netminder having to stand on his head. Hackett made 33 of 35 saves for a .943 save percentage. One of the two goals yielded came on a power play, and the other was tip-in on an odd man rush. Hackett looked the part tonight and should be in play when the Sabres are planning their future between the pipes.
Buffalo travels to Nashville for a Thursday tilt with the Predators.