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Parenteau clinches Canadiens' win against Sabres

by Joe Yerdon

BUFFALO -- The Montreal Canadiens got the bounce-back effort they needed Wednesday.

PA Parenteau and Alex Galchenyuk scored in the shootout to give the Canadiens a 2-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center.

Parenteau was the source of the offense the Canadiens used to snap a three-game losing streak that included a 5-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. He had a goal in regulation to go with his shootout winner.

"Let's face it, we needed it," Parenteau said. "After those two performances we had on our home ice (including a 6-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on Sunday), any kind of win was going to be good tonight. It was back-to-back, a lot of things against us. The confidence wasn't there that much. We played a decent game considering all that stuff."

Parenteau has become the go-to guy in shootouts for the Canadiens (9-4-1). His winning goal against the Sabres beat goalie Michal Neuvirth to the glove side and was his third shootout winner of the season.

"I'm going in with a lot of confidence right now," Parenteau said. "It's a big thing in shootouts. I had that kind of run two years ago, too, [when] I couldn't miss. And I went on a run where I couldn't score. It's a matter of being confident in your move and just stick with it and do it."

Canadiens goalie Dustin Tokarski stopped 31 shots through 65 minutes and two out of three shootout attempts for his second win of the season.

"We've got a lot of character on this team," Tokarski said. "A tied game on the road, [we] came out and got a quick one there and unfortunately they got one too. We stuck to it and got a couple big ones in the shootout."

Parenteau opened the scoring with his third goal of the season 19 seconds into the third period. He beat Neuvirth between his legs off a rebound of a P.K. Subban shot.

"The team needed one big time. I needed one too," Parenteau said. "We were all struggling offensively. It's nice to see that."

Parenteau had not scored since Oct. 19 against the Boston Bruins, a span of nine games. His goal broke a Canadiens streak of 107:01 without a goal.

"Obviously it's good to get that first goal but I thought we did a good job of sticking to the plan even when things got a bit away from us," Subban said. "They got a couple power plays. We didn't let that knock us off track."

Buffalo's Drew Stafford tied the game 1-1 on the power play at 3:14 of the third. After a boarding penalty to Canadiens forward Jiri Sekac, Stafford took a pass from defenseman Tyler Myers and beat Tokarski on his blocker side for his second goal of the season. Tyler Ennis got his 100th NHL assist.

"We battled back, we got the goal," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "The one thing about shootouts, those things are skill competitions, and sometimes you win them, sometimes you don't. But the effort tonight I thought was really good."

Stafford's two goals are the only power-play goals for the Sabres this season.

The Sabres (3-9-2) are 2-2-2 in the past six games and play the third of a four-game homestand against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

"These last couple games here we've started to play the way we need to be competitive," Myers said. "I thought tonight was a stepping stone. I thought it was a good game overall for us."

Canadiens forward Michael Bournival left the game with 2:15 remaining in the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return. Bournival was seen leaving the arena with his left arm in a sling.

"That was tough," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "We'll know more about him [on Thursday]."

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