FINAL
NYI
2
BOS
1
FINAL
OTT
3
PHI
1
FINAL
CAR
1
WSH
3
FINAL
MTL
5
BUF
1
FINAL
PIT
6
TBL
3
FINAL SO
SJS
3
DET
2
FINAL
FLA
2
WPG
7
FINAL
STL
2
MIN
0
FINAL SO
COL
2
LAK
3
MTL
29-14-5
BUF
21-21-6

42 SOG
15 SOG

Canadiens clinch playoff berth with rout of Sabres

Chris Ryndak  - NHL.com Correspondent | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

BUFFALO – The Montreal Canadiens finished the 2011-12 season with the worst record in the Eastern Conference and found themselves picking third overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. Less than a year later, Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal's first-round selection, helped them clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Galchenyuk, Rene Bourque, Brendan Gallagher, Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban had goals scored Thursday as the Canadiens defeated the Buffalo Sabres 5-1 at First Niagara Center to secure a spot in the playoffs. Peter Budaj improved to 7-1-1 between the pipes for Montreal, making 13 saves.

The victory by the Canadiens (26-9-5) combined with the Boston Bruins' loss to the New York Islanders, moved Montreal back into first place in the Northeast Division. The Canadiens have 57 points to the Bruins' 56.

Thursday marked the final meeting of the season between the two clubs. Buffalo was 3-1-0 against the Canadiens this season heading into the game. When the two teams last met on March 23 in Montreal, goaltender Ryan Miller kept the Sabres in the game as they were outshot 39-18, but won 2-1.

Montreal poured it on against the Sabres once again Thursday. The Canadiens outshot Buffalo 15-7 in the first and held a 2-0 lead on goals by Bourque and Galchenyuk. Seven minutes into the second period, the Canadiens were outshooting Buffalo 11-1 and held a 32-11 edge in the game by the time the horn sounded to end the second. Gallagher and Markov scored in the second to give Montreal a four-goal lead.

Miller stopped 28 shots through two periods before being relieved by Jhonas Enroth at the start of the third period. Enroth made nine saves on 10 shots.

The Sabres sit at 38 points, six points out of a playoff spot with seven games remaining. Five of those last seven games are on home ice, but Buffalo is 8-8-3 at First Niagara Center this season.

Brian Flynn scored shorthanded for the Sabres 6:45 into the third period to spoil Budaj's shutout bid.

Canadiens forward Jeff Halpern reached a milestone, playing in his 900th NHL game.

Bourque opened the scoring 6:43 into the game. Sabres forward Thomas Vanek lost the puck in his skates at the Canadiens blue line and Bourque started back on a 2-on-1 with Tomas Plekanec. Bourque sent the puck to Plekanec on the right wing, who then fed a backhand pass back into the slot to Brian Gionta, coming late. Gionta's shot deflected off Bourque's heel as he crossed in front of the net and went past Miller.

Sabres wing Patrick Kaleta and Montreal forward Brandon Prust dropped the gloves right after the faceoff at center ice.

Montreal struck again at 10:27 after some hard work behind the net. Michael Ryder beat defenseman Mike Weber behind the net and curled his way around in front to Miller's left. Ryder sent a pass across the crease that Galchenyuk buried on his second attempt after his first went off the side of the net and came right back to him.

Galchenyuk, who turned 19 in February, now has six goals in his first professional season.

Gallagher, a fellow rookie who was drafted in 2010 (No. 147) by Montreal, put the Canadiens ahead 3-0 at 4:36 of the second period. A slap shot by David Desharnais was turned aside by Miller, but the rebound went to Gallagher, who was standing unchecked to Miller's right. Gallagher pulled the puck back into the slot and reached past an outstretched Miller to put it in around his left pad for his 12th of the season.

Montreal made it 4-0 at 17:54 during a 5-on-3 power play. Flynn attempted to block Andrei Markov's slap shot from the point, but the puck deflected off his stick, floated up and skipped into the net behind Miller.

Subban scored a power-play goal with 2:41 remaining in regulation to make it 5-1. His shot from the point through was deflected before finding its way past Enroth. The goal was Subban's 11th of the season, the most by any defenseman this season.

1st2nd3rdT
MTL
BUF
Scoring Summary
1st Period
06:43MTL Rene Bourque (6) ASST: Brian Gionta (12), Tomas Plekanec (16) 1 - 0 MTL
10:27MTL Alex Galchenyuk (6) ASST: Michael Ryder (17) 2 - 0 MTL
2nd Period
04:36MTL Brendan Gallagher (12) ASST: David Desharnais (14), Max Pacioretty (20) 3 - 0 MTL
17:54MTL PPG - Andrei Markov (8) ASST: P.K. Subban (23), Michael Ryder (18) 4 - 0 MTL
3rd Period
06:45BUF SHG - Brian Flynn (5) ASST: Kevin Porter (4), Andrej Sekera (10) 4 - 1 MTL
17:19MTL PPG - P.K. Subban (11) ASST: Andrei Markov (18), Max Pacioretty (21) 5 - 1 MTL
Three Stars of the Game
P.K. Subban
1st
G: 1Shots: 6
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: -1TOI: 25:06
Michael Ryder
2nd
G: 0Shots: 1
A: 2Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 14:56
Brendan Gallagher
3rd
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 1PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 13:58
Penalty Summary
1st Period
06:47BUF Patrick Kaleta  Fighting (maj) against  Brandon Prust
06:47MTL Brandon Prust  Fighting (maj) against  Patrick Kaleta
07:52BUF Adam Pardy  Holding against  Michael Ryder
2nd Period
07:59BUF Nathan Gerbe  Elbowing against  Lars Eller
12:49BUF Steve Ott  Fighting (maj) against  Francis Bouillon
12:49MTL Francis Bouillon  Fighting (maj) against  Steve Ott
16:05BUF Mike Weber  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
17:08BUF Jochen Hecht  Hi-sticking against  Brendan Gallagher
19:08MTL Brandon Prust  Tripping against  Drew Stafford
3rd Period
05:37BUF Luke Adam  Tripping against  David Desharnais
07:48BUF Tyler Ennis  Too many men/ice - bench
09:34MTL Brendan Gallagher  Interference on goalkeeper against  Jhonas Enroth
16:13BUF Jochen Hecht  Holding against  Max Pacioretty
18:31BUF Nathan Gerbe  Abuse of officials - bench
20:00MTL Rene Bourque  Roughing against  Brian Flynn
shots by period
PeriodMTLBUF
1st157
2nd174
3rd104
Total4215
Team Stats
CategoryMTLBUF
Power Plays2/80/2
Hits2134
Faceoff Wins3324
Giveaways48
Takeaways57
Blocked Shots1314
Penalty Minutes1626
  • MONTREAL
  • BUFFALO
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
8B. PrustL0000710:13
11B. GallagherR1014213:58
14T. PlekanecC0112016:46
17R. BourqueR1012217:14
21B. GiontaR0112015:56
24J. HalpernC0000013:28
26J. GorgesD0012018:51
27A. GalchenyukC1011012:28
32T. MoenL0002013:43
40N. BeaulieuD0024016:50
44D. DrewiskeD0020015:18
51D. DesharnaisC0102015:25
55F. BouillonD0013519:51
67M. PaciorettyL0205017:01
73M. RyderR0201014:56
76P. SubbanD11-16025:06
79A. MarkovD11-13024:04
81L. EllerC0013015:20
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
30P. Budaj1415.93359:32
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
6M. WeberD00-11221:22
9S. OttC0000516:20
10C. EhrhoffD0001022:02
12K. PorterC0112016:56
19C. HodgsonC00-22010:29
21D. StaffordR0001017:03
26T. VanekL00-21014:16
27A. PardyD0000217:56
36P. KaletaR00-10510:00
42N. GerbeL00-11213:43
44A. SekeraD0100019:16
53M. PysykD00-20014:03
55J. HechtC00-10417:07
57T. MyersD00-12025:37
63T. EnnisC0003014:02
65B. FlynnC1011017:58
72L. AdamC000027:23
82M. FolignoL00-20010:03
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
1J. Enroth910.90020:00
30R. Miller2832.87540:00