Buffalo, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Moulson scored the game-winning goal with 1:18 to play as the Buffalo Sabres took a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in the opener of a home-and-home set.
Tyler Ennis had the other goal and Jhonas Enroth made 30 saves for the Sabres, who have won four of their last five.
Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau had the only goal for the Canadiens, who had won their previous two coming in. Carey Price allowed both goals on 25 shots.
These clubs will meet in Montreal on Saturday.
The game was tied by Montreal early in the final frame, but Buffalo was able to go on top thanks to a lucky bounce while on a power play. Ennis had dumped the puck into the Montreal end off the glass and Price went behind the net to play it. However, it hit off a stanchion and bounced out front where Moulson had an open net for the game-winner.
"He had a number of chances to score throughout the game," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "For him to get two or three chances and to get one like that was probably fitting."
Buffalo scored the only goal of the first period on a highlight reel marker from Ennis. Skating down the right wing, Ennis cut to the front and lost control of the puck. He then leaped over Price, and from the left side was able to find the puck for a backhand into the net at 3:27.
The second period passed without a goal, but the Canadiens were able to tie the game on an early power play in the third. With Ennis in the box, Montreal got the puck on net and a scramble in front resulted in several shots on Enroth. With Enroth looking for the puck between his pads, Parenteau dove in to poke the puck in at 1:35.
"I think there are some good things to build off of," Montreal's Max Pacioretty said. "We have to do a better job of finding ways to score goals."
Montreal had won six straight in the series ... Montreal was 1-for-3 on the power play while Buffalo went 1-for-4.