Sabres, minus Eichel, open season with 5-1 rout of Canadiens

Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons celebrates his goal during the first period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Montreal Canadiens, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Victor Olofsson and Anders Bjork scored 2:01 apart in the second period, and the Buffalo Sabres followed a tumultuous summer with a season-opening 5-1 win over the injury-depleted Montreal Canadiens.

Buffalo overcame initial questions of lacking offense and leadership with deposed captain Jack Eichel’s future in Buffalo uncertain.

Assistant captains Kyle Okposo and Zemgus Girgensons stepped up to generate Buffalo’s first two goals in a game the Sabres never trailed.

Montreal was coming off a 2-1 season-opening loss at Toronto on Wednesday, and opened a season 0-2 for the first time since 2000.

Chris Wideman scored for Montreal, and Sam Montembeault stopped 31 shots

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