BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Patrick Lalime stopped the first 36 shots he faced and benefited from Buffalo's best offensive output in three weeks, leading the Sabres to a 5-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.
Derek Roy and Paul Gaustad scored goals two each, and Jaroslav Spacek had a goal and assist. Thomas Vanek returned to the Sabres after missing nine games because of a broken jaw. Vanek didn't figure into the scoring, but his presence helped the Sabres score their most goals since a 6-5 win against San Jose on Feb. 13.
Thomas Plekanec spoiled Lalime's shutout bid with 1:06 remaining.
Buffalo tied Carolina for ninth place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers for the final two playoff spots.