Ristolainen goal in OT gives Sabres 6-5 win over Canadiens
MONTREAL (AP) — Carey Price put all the blame on himself for Montreal’s latest loss.
Rasmus Ristolainen scored at 1:38 of overtime to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 6-5 victory over the Canadiens on Thursday night.
Vladimir Sobotka and Jeff Skinner each scored twice and Conor Sheary added a goal for the Sabres.
Linus Ullmark gave up five goals on 32 shots through two periods. Carter Hutton came in and made five saves in the third.
Jonathan Drouin, Matthew Peca, Andrew Shaw, Tomas Tatar and Nicolas Deslauriers scored for the Canadiens. Max Domi had three assists and extended his point streak to five games.
Price gave up a season-high six goals and made 25 saves on 31 shots in the loss.
“Let’s just cut to the chase really,” Price said. “I just didn’t play very good tonight.”
The 31-year-old saw his save percentage drop to .892 and his goals-against-average soar to 3.07. The Canadiens goaltender has a 5-5-2 record this season. He’s given up at least three goals in eight games this season.
“It’s all upstairs,” said Price, who earns $10.5 million per year for the next eight seasons. “I gotta figure it out.
“I’m just not playing as well as I did earlier.”
With the game tied 5-5, Ristolainen scored the winner with a slap shot that soared right past Price after a failed 3-on-1 for the Canadiens at the other end. It was the only shot in overtime.
“If anything he needs to feel like we have his back and we do,” said Claude Julien of Price. “We know how good he can be. He needs to know that his coach and his coaching staff are behind him and believe in him and there’s no reason not to with what he’s accomplished.
“Unfortunately that position is one that you can really pinpoint. That’s the sad part of a goaltender’s position. We’re looking towards him when the rest of our team wasn’t any better.”
The Sabres took three leads in the first period, but Montreal answered each time.
“Especially on the road, it’s tough when you give goals right back because you work so hard for that lead,” said Skinner. “It was one of those games where you had to stick with it and sooner or later somebody on the team would step up with a big play.”
Buffalo went up 1-0 on Sobotka’s first at 6:08 before Drouin tied it on a 2-on-1 with Domi at 9:14.
The teams then combined for four goals in the span of 1:46.
Sobotka gave Buffalo the 2-1 lead at 14:40 after Price failed to control a rebound in his crease.
Montreal tied it 10 seconds later when Peca netted his first in a Canadiens uniform on a bank shot from behind the net.
Sheary, playing his 200th NHL game, made it 3-2 at 15:52 before Shaw jumped on a loose puck in the crease and tied the game 34 seconds later.
The goals kept coming in the second period, with Skinner giving Buffalo a 4-3 lead at 5:34, just seconds after Jack Eichel hit the post.
The Canadiens have allowed at least four goals in five of their last six games.
Tatar got Montreal level again with his sixth of the season at 10:17 on another 2-on-1 with Domi, who leads the Canadiens with 19 points.
After tying the game four times, the Canadiens took their first lead when Deslauriers scored a short-handed goal — his first of the season — beating Ullmark between the pads at 18:03 of the second.
Skinner scored his second of the game 2:20 into the third period to make it 5-5.
NOTES: Forward Joel Armia will miss six to eight weeks with a right knee injury. The Canadiens recalled forward Kenny Agostino from the AHL as a result. ... It was the second meeting of the season between Montreal and Buffalo, with the Sabres winning 4-3 on Oct. 25.
Sabres: Home against Vancouver on Saturday afternoon.
Canadiens: Home against the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.