NEW YORK, N.Y. - Peter Budaj made 27 saves for his 11th career NHL shutout, and Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk provided all the offence Montreal needed as the Canadiens spoiled the New York Rangers' long-awaited home opener with a 2-0 victory Monday night.
The 31-year-old Budaj was on the top of his game despite playing in place of No. 1 goalie Carey Price for only the second time this season and first since Oct. 10 at Edmonton when he stopped 27 of 28 shots in a win.
Plekanec scored the decisive goal on a power play in the second period. Budaj made it stand up for Montreal (7-5), which had lost three of four since a four-game winning streak.
Galchenyuk scored his second goal of the season with 2:51 left. That sealed the win moments after Budaj blocked an in-close chance for Mats Zuccarello.
STARS 4, SABRES 3
Jamie Benn, Alex Goligoski and Vernon Fiddler also scored in a game the Stars nearly squandered a 4-1 lead against the NHL's worst team. Eric Cole added two assists in Ruff's first game against his former team after his 16-year tenure in Buffalo ended with him being fired on Feb. 20.
Matt Moulson nearly spoiled Ruff's return by scoring two goals in his Sabres debut, a day after being acquired in a trade the sent Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders. Steve Ott also scored for Buffalo (2-11-1), which matched its worst start through 14 games.
BLACKHAWKS 5, WILD 1
After giving up 11 goals while losing their previous two games, the Blackhawks played tougher defence, were more disciplined and paid the Wild back for their 5-3 win Saturday in Chicago.
PENGUINS 3, HURRICANES 1
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Rookie Jayson Megna had his first career goal and assist, and the Penguins snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Hurricanes.
Pittsburgh ended its longest losing streak since 2011-12 by defeating the Hurricanes for the fourth straight time.
Nathan Gerbe scored a power-play goal for Carolina, which lost its third straight but remained tied with the New York Islanders for second in the division — five points behind the Penguins. Justin Peters made 26 saves in his second straight start in place of the injured Cam Ward.