Sabres, minus Eichel, open season with 5-1 rout of Canadiens

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Victor Olofsson and Anders Bjork scored 2:01 aside in the second one duration, and the Buffalo Sabres adopted a tumultuous summer time with a surprising season-opening Five-1 win over the injury-depleted Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night time.

Overcoming preliminary questions of missing offense and management with deposed captain Jack Eichel’s long run in Buffalo unsure, assistant captains Kyle Okposo and Zemgus Girgensons stepped as much as generate Buffalo’s first two objectives in a recreation the Sabres by no means trailed. Eichel used to be stripped of his captaincy final month and stays on injured reserve over a dispute with the crew over the best way to deal with a herniated disk which has sidelined him since March.

40-year-old Craig Anderson stopped 30 pictures in his debut together with his 6th NHL crew.

The Sabres transformed 3 of six power-play alternatives, with Tage Thompson pushing Buffalo’s result in Five-1 early within the 3rd duration.

Whilst Buffalo appeared not anything just like the crew that completed final within the NHL standings for the fourth time in 8 seasons, the Canadiens didn’t come with reference to equivalent to the crew that reached the Stanley Cup Ultimate, ahead of shedding in 5 video games to Tampa Bay in July.

Montreal used to be coming off a 2-1 season-opening loss at Toronto on Wednesday, and opened a season Zero-2 for the primary time since 2000.

Chris Wideman scored for Montreal, and Sam Montembeault stopped 31 pictures in his Canadiens’ debut after being received off waivers from Florida two weeks in the past.

The Canadiens have 8 avid gamers on IR, together with captain Shea Weber and goalie Carey Value, who final week entered the NHL/NHL Avid gamers’ Affiliation joint participant help program.

The fallout from the Sabres’ offseason participant purge, Eichel’s dispute and 10-season playoff drought used to be glaring with the stands showing not to also be part complete in an enviornment with a 19,200 capability. The Sabres didn’t announce the attendance. One fan confirmed up early dressed in a paper bag over his head and an Eichel jersey.

The Sabres rewarded those that did attend by means of appearing no indicators of wilting after Wideman tapped in Joel Armia’s go halfway via the second one duration.

Olofsson scored in a while after a two-man merit ended by means of snapping a shot from the best circle with 2:55 ultimate in the second one duration.

Girgensons, who neglected all of final season with a hamstring damage, then performed a key function on Bjork’s objective. After blocking off a shot in Buffalo’s finish, Girgensons led a three-on-two damage ahead of having his preliminary shot stopped, with Bjork changing the rebound to the best of the online.

Sabres middle Casey Mittelstadt didn’t go back after maintaining an higher frame damage halfway via the second one duration.

LONG WAIT

It’s been 623 days for the reason that Atlantic Department competitors final met on Jan. 30, 2020, in Buffalo, the place the Canadiens beat the Sabres Three-1.

The Sabres had been in Montreal getting ready to stand the Canadiens on March 10, 2020, when the NHL paused its season on account of the coronavirus pandemic. The season used to be canceled two months later, with Montreal clinching the Japanese Convention’s 12th and ultimate playoff berth .007 proportion issues forward of Buffalo.

“BETTER DAYS”

The Sabres opened with a video that includes present avid gamers and Sabres fanatics, and narrated by means of long-time broadcaster Rick Jeanneret, who spoke of the crew’s lengthy custom and higher days forward. The 79-year-old Jeanneret, who started his occupation broadcasting Sabres video games on Oct. 10, 1971, is the NHL’s longest-tenured announcer and has introduced his plans to retire after operating 20 video games this season.

REMEMBERING

Prior to the sport, the Sabres aired a video paying tribute to Rene Robert, a member of the crew’s famed 1970s-era French Connection line, who died following a middle assault in June. Robert’s No. 14 used to be additionally printed on the ice at the back of each objectives.

The crew additionally commemorated former avid gamers Tom Kurvers and Fred Stanfield, who additionally died this summer time.

SCRATCHES

Canadiens: Excluding Montembeault beginning rather than Jake Allen, Montreal caught with the similar lineup as in opposition to Toronto, with C Adam Brooks and Alex Belzile now not enjoying. Montreal opened the season with 8 avid gamers on IR.

Sabres: D Will Butcher, received in an offseason industry from New Jersey, and C John Hayden, an offseason free-agent addition, had been wholesome scratches.

UP NEXT

Canadiens: Go back to Montreal for house opener in opposition to the New York Rangers on Saturday.

Sabres: Proceed season-opening four-game homestand going through Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.

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Extra AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities

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