BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — For the third straight game, the Buffalo Sabres have finished things in the loss column. The Sabres fell to the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 Thursday night to fall to 22-22-7 on the season. Jack Eichel scored the team's lone goal of the night (see more on that below) while Carter Hutton, filling in for the injured Linus Ullmark, stopped 27 of 29 shots. The Sabres will be back at home on Saturday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.
4 Observations from tonight's game
Twenty minute seesaw
The Sabres had a fairly good first period: capitalizing on the extra-man advantage, dominating their penalty kill, and taking a 1-0 lead into the break. The second period though, like we've seen so many other times, was a different story. The Habs came out firing and scored two goals in the first four minutes of play, the latter from a wide open Brendan Gallagher. The Sabres were outshot 14-3 in the second period, compared to outshooting the Canadiens 11-8 following the first twenty minutes.
No slowing him down
Jack Eichel's incredible season just keeps getting better. With the team on the power play in the first period, Eichel notched his 30th goal of the season, which also gives him his 65th point on the year. He becomes the first player since Jason Pominville in 2011-12 to score at least 30 goals and add 30 assists in a season and is just the fourth Sabre to accomplish that feat in fewer than 50 games.
Sea of red
If you had no idea where this game was being played, you would've guessed Montreal based solely on the amount of red in the KeyBank Center crowd. Yes, Canadiens fans travel well, but the attendance at tonight's game describes the frustration fans have with this team and they way they've played as of late. If this organization wants fans to spend the money on a game, then they have to hope this team goes on a run here during these final two months.
The month of January is over and the Sabres finished this month with a 5-5-0 record. Yea, that's not horrible but it's also less than ideal, especially considering the way this team started and has since completely dwindled. There's 31 games left on the regular season schedule and with a 22-22-7 overall record, the Sabres are sitting in 6th in the latest Atlantic standings with 51 points. They're not out of things just yet, but without a nice run and more wins, this team will be looking at another year of playoff-less hockey.