Mike Condon made a key save very early on Evander Kane who came streaking down the wing on a clear 2 on 1 break. Standing firm in front of the stinging shot, Condon allowed the Habs to maintain their composure against a Buffalo team that seemed to be coming on a lot stronger than the Canadiens had expected them to. Brian Flynn got the worst of what the Sabres had to dish out, taking two huge hits within the first seven minutes in the 1st period. The second hit from Cody Franzen sent Flynn to the dressing room. The Sabres came really close to taking a 1-0 lead, with Tyler Ennis firing a low shot along the ice past Mike Condon and off the post.
The Sabres out-skated the Habs to begin the game, leading 11-8 on shot attempts at the 10 minute mark of the 1st period. But, the Canadiens managed to build a response attack and scored the first goal of the game for the 8th time this season after P.K. Subban and Dale Weise played tic-tac-toe entering the Sabres zone giving Weise an open net to shoot on for his 2nd goal of the season. P.K. earned his 6th assist of the season on the play.
The Sabres hit 2 more goal posts before the period ended, putting their goal post counter for the period to 3. Mike Condon stood tall otherwise, making 10 saves. The Canadiens ended up surpassing the Sabres in shots on goal, leading 11-10 to end the 1st period, but trailing 21-18 on shot attempts due to a late outburst from the Sabres to end the 1st period.