The Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens are tied at 1-1 after 20 minutes at First Niagara Center.
Tyler Myers seemingly coughed up the puck at least once every shift in the early going, but Montreal transitioned from a missed Thomas Vanek opportunity to open the scoring. Rene Bourque passed the puck up to Tomas Plekanec, who backed Myers down from the blue line to inside the left faceoff circle before wristing a shot over Miller's shoulder at 4:11. But only 15 seconds later, Jochen Hecht fed Steve Ott, and he beat Peter Budaj to the the score with his second goal of the season.
Buffalo got some good shifts from Drew Stafford, Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno, who generated a handful of good scoring chances and upped the physical play. They outplayed the first line early. Thomas Vanek seemed a step behind, while Jason Pominville made a few bad puck choices, including passing the puck to the wing while standing alone in front of the Montreal net. But Montreal was able to keep the action in Buffalo's end much of the period, generating 13 shots. Buffalo mustered five shots late in the period but couldn't beat Budaj again.
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