MONTREAL -- Max Pacioretty scored with 1:52 remaining in overtime to give the Montreal Canadiens a 2-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres at Bell Centre on Saturday.
Pacioretty scored the 10th overtime goal of his NHL career with a backhand shot past Chad Johnson on a breakaway to give Montreal its fourth win in five games.
[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Canadiens highlights]
"I just went in and I guess trusted my instincts," Pacioretty said. "I know if I didn't score everyone would be asking, why didn't I shoot?"
Andrew Shaw tied it 1-1 with a power-play goal at 1:01 of the third period.
Charlie Lindgren made 34 saves in his fourth straight start for Montreal (8-9-1), which is 6-2-0 in its past eight games since a 2-7-1 start.
Video: BUF@MTL: Lindgren extends left pad to rob Reinhart
"I was disappointed that we didn't have a better start," Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. "I found that we were a bit flat during the first two periods, and it concerned me, but at least we came out in the third period and we played much better and found a way to win."
Johnson made 27 saves for the Sabres (5-9-3), who are 2-4-1 in their past seven games.
"It was unfortunate because I thought the guys played really hard," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "We had a lot of great opportunities to make it 2-0, which we didn't, but we hung in there."
Ryan O'Reilly scored an unassisted power-play goal at 19:54 of the first period to give Buffalo a 1-0 lead. O'Reilly scored his sixth goal from the right edge of the crease when the puck bounced to him off the end boards after a goalmouth scramble.
Video: BUF@MTL: O'Reilly cleans up rebound for PPG
Buffalo outshot Montreal 17-7 in the first.
Shaw tied it when he deflected Jonathan Drouin's wrist shot from the point past Johnson for his fourth goal.
"We felt the first period was very poor from our group and being able to rebound and play a decent second and a much better third, we don't want to lose any of this momentum that we feel have right now in terms of our confidence and trending in the right direction," Pacioretty said.
Goal of the game
Shaw's power-play goal at 1:01 of the third period.
Video: BUF@MTL: Shaw redirects Drouin's wrister for PPG
Save of the game
Johnson's save against Paul Byron at 1:34 of the third period.
Video: BUF@MTL: Johnson uses glove to rob Byron on breakaway
Highlight of the game
Pacioretty's goal with 1:52 remaining in overtime.
Video: BUF@MTL: Pacioretty nets OT winner, sets club record
They said it
"It was real close. I had to bite. I know he likes to go five-hole and he just went around me. My legs just weren't long enough there to make the save. It's disappointing because I thought we were right there. Good for him, I guess, making that move." -- Sabres goalie Chad Johnson on Max Pacioretty's overtime goal
"Division games are always important, especially where we are. We want to get back to .500 and then go from there, so we're going to take it game by game here." -- Canadiens forward Andrew Shaw
Need to know
O'Reilly has 12 points (six goals, six assists) in his past 12 games. ... Pacioretty's 10 overtime goals are a Canadiens record. Howie Morenz and Aurele Joliat had nine each.
Sabres: At the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, SN1, ATTSN-PT, MSG-B, NHL.TV)
Canadiens: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN2, RDS, FS-O, NHL.TV)
Video: Pacioretty tallies overtime-winner to down Sabres