MONTREAL (AP) Buffalo rookie Devon Levi made 32 saves in his first game at hometown Bell Centre to help the Sabres beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-1 on Thursday night.

The 22-year-old Levi, from nearby Dollard-des-Ormeaux, grew up watching the Canadiens and idolizing goalie Carey Price.

“I’ve dreamt of this moment since I was 5,” Levi said. “It’s incredible to be there, in that crease, after him and a lot of other great goalies, it was a really special night.”

He said there were 99 family members and friends in attendance.

Tage Thompson had two goals and an assist, Jeff Skinner added a goal and three assists, Casey Mittelstadt and Jack Quinn each had a goal and an assist and Rasmus Dahlin scored into an empty net. The Sabres improved to 16-19-4.

Joel Armia scored for Montreal, and Jake Allen stopped 32 shots. Returning from a seven-game trip, the Canadiens dropped to 16-17-5.

“I think our forecheck was a little off tonight, we were managing the puck poorly, turning pucks over - all the stuff that hurts you,” Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki said. “We just didn’t have our game tonight, we were trying to find it but just didn’t have it.”

Levi turned away all 15 shots in the first period and looked prepared early after an especially long morning skate before the game to “take it all in.”

The netminder says he normally listens to the Canadiens’ pregame song, “Fix You” by Coldplay, through his headphones before taking the ice.

“I didn’t have to tonight because the jumbotron played it for me,” said Levi, who played two seasons at Northeastern.

Mittelstadt finished off a feed from Skinner on a power play to open the scoring at 5:33 of the first. Skinner doubled the lead with another power-play goal 1:26 seconds later after Mitchell Stephens took an interference call.

The 31-year-old Skinner received a cross-ice pass from Tuch before beating Allen for his 26th goal against the Canadiens - tied with Toronto center Auston Matthews for second-most among active players.

Armia got one back on the penalty kill, taking the puck from Dahlin and using him as a screen on a wrist shot over Levi’s left shoulder with 6:41 left in the period.

Buffalo squashed Montreal’s momentum in the third period with even-strength goals from Quinn and Thompson, who made it 4-1 at 8:35 by tapping home a feed from Skinner.

Levi kept Montreal from clawing back with a point-blank save on Josh Anderson minutes later.

After Dahlin scored an empty-net goal with over five minutes left, Levi was at it again, this time by flashing the glove on Cole Caufield.

“Tonight is an example of many other nights that he’s turning in a great performance for us,” Buffalo coach Don Granato said. “He’s a talented guy, he has some calm to him, he’s unwavered in lots of instances, so we’re glad to have him.”


Sabres: At Pittsburgh on Saturday night.

Canadiens: Host New York Rangers on Saturday night.



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