BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Benoit Pouliot scored twice, and Jeff Halpern had a goal and two assists in the Montreal Canadiens' 3-2 victory over the slumping Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.
Carey Price, who has started all but one of Montreal's 13 games this season, made 29 saves to help the Canadiens improve to 8-4-1 and snap a two-game losing streak.
Montreal was without scoring leader Tomas Plekanec, who was scratched because of flulike symptoms. ...more.
Benoit Pouliot scored two goals, including the game-winner, but his first goal came at a critical time in the game and proved to be the play of the game. Buffalo took a 2-1 lead when Jordan Leopold scored nine minutes into the second period, but Montreal responded by scoring just 46 seconds later to tie the game at two. Following a faceoff in the Buffalo zone, Mathieu Darche won a battle for the puck behind the net and fed it to Pouliot, who got the puck to his backhand and flipped it past Lalime for the tying goal.
Benoit Pouliot scored two goals to earn First Star honors, but he received a lot of help from his linemates. The trio of Pouliot, Darche and Jeff Halpern accounted for all of Montreal’s offense on the night, combining for three goals and four assists. Halpern picked up a goal and two assists while Darche collected a pair of assists to go with Pouliot’s two goals. Each player also finished with a +3 rating.
Shifts after goals, for or against, are important…after we took the lead there in the second (period) we had a couple shifts after that where they got momentum. - Mike Grier on Montreal’s second goal, which came 46 seconds after Buffalo had taken a 2-1 lead.
- Jordan Leopold scored his fourth goal of the season and led the team with 21:41 TOI. He also blocked thee shots and registered a +1 rating.
- Mike Grier opened the scoring with his first goal of the season, converting a pass from Tyler Ennis with a nifty move around Montreal goaltender Carey Price. Grier added an assist on Jordan Leopold’s goal to register his second multi-point game of the year.
- Drew Stafford suffered an upper body injury and did not return to the game after logging 6:13 TOI . He recorded three shots on goal in the first period.
- Thomas Vanek led all players in the game with six shots on goal. Paul Gaustad won 10 of 13 faceoff attempts.
- For the second straight game, Buffalo’s scratches were Chris Butler, Mike Weber and Ryan Miller (lower body, day-to-day). With Miller out, Jhonas Enroth served as Patrick Lalime’s backup.
- “Shifts after goals, for or against, are important…after we took the lead there in the second (period) we had a couple shifts after that where they got momentum.” – Mike Grier on Montreal’s second goal, which came 46 seconds after Buffalo had taken a 2-1 lead.
The Sabres will travel to Toronto on Saturday to face the Maple Leafs for the first time this season as they play the first of three straight on the road. Buffalo won five of the six meetings between the divisional rivals last season with Derek Roy leading all scorers with six points (3+3) in the season series. Toronto is coming off a 5-4 shootout loss at Washington on Wednesday.