Canadiens-Sabres: Season Opener A Total Yawner for Fans of Both Teams

Francois GendronSenior Writer IOctober 10, 2008

The Montreal Canadiens opened their 2008-09 season tonight at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo. After waiting for months since the last game played in June, hockey is finally back.

Tonight's match between the Habs and Sabres lacked rhythm all evening long. There were a few moments here and there, but, in general, the excitement of the new season wasn't there.

I really pity those who bought season tickets for this 2008-09 Buffalo team. It will be a total bore this year, and we had a very good sample of it tonight. On the other hand, there was one good piece of news for the Sabres tonight: They managed to drag down the Montreal Canadiens to their level of play.

The scoring for tonight is very easy to break down. First, the newest member of the Canadiens, Robert Lang, opened the scoring during the first period with the first goal of the season for Montreal. Lang corralled a loose puck in front of goaltender Ryan Miller and sent it over Miller's shoulder.

Tomas Vanek tied the game at 1 before the end of the first frame, when he undressed Montreal's defense to beat goaltender Carey Price between the pads.

The game went to overtime, as nobody could manage to score a goal during the second or third period. The extra frame itself did not produce any scoring, and the contest had to be decided in a shootout. The shootout was eventually won by the Sabres, who scored twice on Price while Lang and Saku Koivu failed in front of Miller.

Final score: Buffalo Sabres 2, Montreal Canadiens 1 (shootout).

Montreal travels to Toronto to play the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow evening.

(Picture: Carey Price and Maxim Afinogenov, Getty Images.)