Both teams got off to slow starts, with shot attempts 5-2 in favour of the Habs at the first TV timeout just over six minutes into the game.
The Sabres took control of the game, putting up nine nine shot attempts in a seven minute period in which they prevented the Habs from getting any.
With 5:44 remaining in the first period, Victor Bartley took a holding penalty right as the Canadiens were starting to put together a string of attack and had lessened the possession difference to 14-8 CF in favour of the Sabres. Zach Bogosian was set up in close to Ben Scrivens, and robbed with the glove, but given a rebound which he batted in mid-air for a goal. The play was reviewed for a high-stick, but the call on the ice of a goal was maintained due to inconclusive video evidence.
Alex Galchenyuk knocked Robin Lehner down in the crease in the final minute of the first period, leading to a skirmish after the whistle. Galchenyuk wasn't assessed a goalie interference penalty on the play, but Nathan Beaulieu and Josh Gorges got penalties instead. The hostilities spilled over to the next shift, where Evander Kane tried to goad Tomas Plekanec into a fight, but both ended up getting unsportsmanlike minors instead.
The Habs were outshot 15-5 and out-possessed 22-11 CF in the first period.
|15:17||BUF||Zach Bogosian (5) Asst: Ryan O'Reilly (33), Rasmus Ristoil PPG||1-0 BUF|
|14:16||MTL||Victor Bartley Holding - 2 min against Marcus Foligno|
|18:58||BUF||Josh Gorges Cross checking - 2 min against Nathan Beaulieu|
|18:58||MTL||Nathan Beaulieu Elbowing - 2 min against Josh Gorges|
|19:28||BUF||Evander Kane Unsportsmanlike conduct - 2 min against Tomas Plekanec|
|19:28||MTL||Tomas Plekanec Unsportsmanlike conduct - 2 min against Evander Kane|
|Faceoff Win %||40%||60%|