“We talked about their desperation. You know, they’re saying these are their playoff lives, these next two games on the road,” Housley said. “And I don’t think we respected that.”
Rittich was hardly tested, though his best save came three minutes into second period, when he got his left shoulder up to stop Jason Pominville’s one-timer form the left circle during a Sabres power play.
Each of the New York’s last two losses came after regulation, and four setbacks during the skid have been one-goal decisions.
“We just seem to find ways to lose,” New York center John Tavares told the league’s official website. “We’ve just got to find a way, a full 60 minutes to finish one out. We just haven’t seemed to finish games off.
“It was very nice to score the overtime winner. But we have to be smarter and better when we have leads like this. To be up by two goals here at home, it’s not good enough to end up in overtime.”
Jujhar Khaira, Milan Lucic and Jesse Puljujarvi also scored for the Oilers, who snapped a three-game skid. Lucic’s goal was his first since Dec. 23 — a goalless streak that lasted 29 games.
“I think it was pretty evident how frustrated I was,” he said. “Slamming doors a bunch of times, breaking sticks, you name it. It was a tough stretch, that’s for sure.
Boyle made it 6-1 later in the period with his first goal in 24 games.
Montreal scored the final three goals of the contest to make the final outcome more respectable.
“The thing that I’ll take out of this game in a positive way is the fact that we got better as the game went on,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. “We’re a young team and the guys showed character by trying to get themselves back into it. That’s a character check. It would have been easy to say, `This is not our night.”