5 Observations: Sabres take down Canadiens 2-1

5 Observations: Sabres take down Canadiens 2-1
Posted at 11:16 PM, Apr 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-05 23:16:29-04

In a year filled with disappointment, the Buffalo Sabres gave the blue and gold faithful a reason to smile on fan appreciation night, knocking off the Montreal Canadiens 2-1.

Five observations from Wednesday's win:

Okposo in ICU

Here's everything we know as of Wednesday evening.

The Sabres released this statement on Tuesday evening:

"Kyle continues to be under the care of our doctors as he deals with symptoms from an illness. Out of respect to Kyle and his family, we will have no further comment at this time."

Vintage Tyler Ennis

Vintage might not be the best way to describe Ennis' game on Tuesday, but he showed some flashes of the player fans remember from a few years ago.

His play was rewarded in the second period when Ennis beat Canadiens goaltender Carey Price from just outside the blue paint. He followed the puck to the net and cleaned up the rebound to extend the Sabres lead to 2-0.

Ennis was also involved in a few other scoring chances and odd-man rushes throughout the course of the game. The 27-year-old has two years remaining on his contract with an average of $4.6M annually. Whether or not he'll return next year remains to be seen, but if he plays the way he did on Wednesday a team would be happy to have his services.

Lehner bails out the Sabres

After allowing three goals on five shots Monday evening against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Robin Lehner rebounded in a big way. Despite some glorious opportunities from the Canadiens, Lehner kept the Habs in check stopping 31 of Montreal's 32 shots.

If it wasn't for a slick move from Tomas Plekanec in the third period Lehner may have finished with a shutout. Say what you want about the Sabres starter but I think he's been one of Buffalo's best players all year.

Sabres team awards

On Tuesday they announced their team awards voted on by the players.

MVP -- Ryan O'Reilly

O'Reilly has been one of the Sabres most consistent forwards at both ends of the ice. After adding an assist on Tuesday O'Reilly has 54 points in 70 games. Very respectable for a player who has proven to be incredibly valuable to the organization over the last two seasons.

All that being said, Jack Eichel should've been named MVP, at least in my opinion. With an assist of his own on Wednesday Eichel has surpassed last year's point total [56] with a new personal best [57]. Here's the kicker -- he's only played in 59 games. Averaging nearly a point per game deserves the MVP honors, but maybe there's a reason I don't vote on these things.

Unsung hero -- Jake McCabe

I bet the players didn't expect McCabe to be scratched on the night the award was announced. Despite back-to-back terrible games, McCabe has been a steady two-way defenseman for most of the season. There wasn't a ton to like about this season but McCabe looks like he can be a reliable second-pair defenseman for years to come.

Home 'cookin

While it's not an incredible record, the Sabres were certainly better on home ice than they were away from the cozy confines of KeyBank Center. With a win against Montreal the Sabres finished the season with a 20-15-6 record at home. Not bad, especially when you consider their 13-20-6 record on the road.