MONTREAL (AP) -- Jose Theodore made 34 saves and Pierre Dagenais, Saku Koivu
and Mike Ribeiro scored, leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-1 win over the
Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
Theodore stopped Jochen Hecht on a short-handed breakaway midway through the
third period and made another pad save on Hecht later in the period to help
Montreal extend its winning streak to three games -- tying a season high set
from Oct. 11-16.
The Canadiens also tied their longest unbeaten streak of the season at five,
and have at least one point in six straight games (4-0-1-1).
Alexei Zhitnik scored for Buffalo, which ended a three-game unbeaten streak.
The Sabres lost for just the second time in eight games (4-2-2) following a
seven-game losing streak.
Canadiens defenseman Stephane Quintal played his 1,000th career
Quintal was honored prior to the game. He was presented with a silver stick
by Hall of Famer Henri Richard, who Quintal joined as one of seven players to
reach the milestone in a Montreal uniform.
The Canadiens, who hadn't won consecutive games in more than two months
prior to their current streak, took a 2-0 lead 11:28 in on their way to
outshooting Buffalo 20-9 in the first period.
Dagenais opened the scoring 6:07 in, scoring on a rebound after goalie
Martin Biron couldn't control Craig Rivet's shot. Dagenais has six goals in 19
games since he was recalled from Hamilton of the AHL on Nov. 24.
Biron once again had trouble controlling a loose puck on Koivu's goal at
11:28. Canadiens rookie Michael Ryder flipped a shot toward the net from the
blue line and Koivu drove in to bat the bouncing puck past Biron for his
seventh of the season.
Zhitnik scored 4:01 into the third with a slap shot from the point over
Theodore's left arm into the right side of the net.
Theodore, who came within 4:50 of his first shutout since a 3-0 win over
Buffalo Nov. 8, stuck out his left pad to deny Hecht, who came in on a
short-handed breakaway just short of the midway point of the third.
Ribeiro scored into an empty net with 34.6 seconds remaining.