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Canadiens vs Sabres Top Six Minutes: Welcome back, everybody

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Max Pacioretty leads his team to a 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres with a hat trick.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

For our new readers and members, the Top Six Minutes is a continuation of the discussion in the game thread. We try to keep it light and entertaining. Full recaps are up the morning after every game.

Pre-game Thoughts
  • I hope Lehner isn’t absurd tonight. What a night-ruiner he was two weeks ago.
First Period
  • The Habs came out skating. Glad to see the All Star break has paid off.
  • Welcome back, Greg! Pateryn with a blast from the point, but Lehner gets the save.
  • David Desharnais, on knocked down 5 seconds into his first shift. Where’s the call, ref?!
  • Alright, fine. Taylor Fedoun called for tripping Torrey Michell. Did I hear 42% efficiency on the PP in the Habs’ last however many games? Can’t say that doesn’t tickle me.
  • Sabres kill it off, and the Habs head straight to the penalty kill as Pateryn gets called for holding.
  • Hm. Buffalo PP unit doesn’t look half bad. Nothing to show for it, though.
  • Evander Kane was all alone in front of Carey Price, but #31 was there with a sassy save.
  • I’ve grown fond of watching these two teams play each other in the last couple of seasons. Lots of speed and intensity. Watching the Sabres used to evoke the same enthusiasm as watching the Carolina Hurricanes. Which, yeah.
  • Radulov with a rebound opportunity right in front of a seemingly open net, but the Sabres’ netminder slides the pad down just in time.
  • Markov sends a stretch pass to Plekanec, who walks right down Main Street with the shot. Lehner somehow gets a handle on the rebound. Stop this.
  • RADULOV TO PACIORETTY! Habs get on the board late in the first. Twenty-two pour le capitaine, and a hell of a celebration from Radu.
  • Shots are 16-11 Habs? I feel like this hasn’t happened in eons.
  • Time slows at the two second mark when Kane takes off on a breakaway, but Carey Price knows what to do with those. The buzzer goes with the Habs still leading by one.
Second Period
  • Danault with an amazing chance but it just flies over the net. I didn’t even know we were back.
  • That was about a 4784 person pileup in front of Robin Lehner. Still made the save. Go away.
  • Andrighetto’s blast just missed. Come on, now.
  • Carey Price isn’t about to be shown up, though.
  • Lots of things happening. Lehner stopping everything. Wah.
  • Lots of things happening. Carey stopping everything. Heh.
  • PATCH RIGHT IN FRONT! There’s a reason they call him Clutch. 2-0 Tricolore.
  • Habs are just buzzing tonight. Shots coming from everyone and everywhere. Radulov embarrasing the hell out of the Sabres.
  • And David Desharnais makes it 3-0! Welcome back #51! (100% more productive than most of us were anticipating...)
  • ...And he almost gets his second right in front of Lehner, but he can’t make it happen.
  • Oh, hey, Nesterov. The noob jumps into the rush with Radulov and comes this close.
  • Markov to Byron! 4-0! Welcome back, everyone!
  • That’s it for the second. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Third Period
  • What are the chances we can get a Pacioretty hat trick tonight? He’s certainly looking dangerous early on.
  • PACIORETTY WIH THE HAT TRICK! Am I good, or am I good? 5-0 Habs. 16 to go in the third.
  • Shea Weber dumped the puck, which went off the glass and off the side of the net. You awake, Lehner?
  • Nathan Beaulieu’s shot pings off the post. With everything that’s happened, he momentarily fell off the grid this evening.
  • Speaking of falling off the grid, the Sabres have really fallen on their faces, haven’t they?
  • I say this now. Watch them win 12-5.
  • Radulov needs a goal. It’s standing in the way of my winning Habs Bingo.
  • The Sabres have realized that they’re playing hockey. Trying to make “things” happen.
  • But nope, had Carey.
  • “...and it’s off the head of Price.” I never want to hear you say that again, John.
  • Goddammit. Demetri Kulikov just ruined Price’s shutout off the face off.
  • Of course he just snapped a 72-game goalless drought.
  • And a powerplay for the Sabres as Emelin gets a crosscheck on Brian Gionta.
  • Gionta gets the tip on the powerplay. Meh. 5-2 Canadiens.
  • Too Many Men against the Canadiens with 11 seconds remaining. Too little, too late. Habs win.

EOTP 3 Stars

Third star

Second star: Not quite as easy as “Webelin”

First star: Good grief

Habs Highlight of the Night

Pacioretty scores his first of many