Montreal, QC - Finally! – Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - Finally!
The Buffalo Sabres ended a pair of franchise-worst losing streaks by holding on for a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.
Buffalo snapped team-record skids that had reached 14 overall and on the road, posting its first victory since Dec. 27 against the New York Islanders. The club's last road win came Nov. 29 against these same Canadiens.
Drew Stafford, Matt Moulson and ex-Montreal captain Brian Gionta had first- period goals for the Sabres, who got 32 saves from Jhonas Enroth.
Brandon Prust and David Desharnais scored for Montreal, which has dropped two straight following a five-game win streak. Carey Price, coming off consecutive shutouts, gave up three goals on 18 shots.
The Canadiens pulled within a goal when Dale Weise's deflection of a Max Pacioretty shot went in off Desharnais, who was tangled up with a Buffalo player near the right post, at 4:20 of the third period.
Montreal continued to pepper Enroth, but couldn't produce an equalizer despite 15 shots in the final frame.
"The ice was tilted in the last 40 minutes, but Jhonas bailed us out," Stafford said.
A healthy scratch in the Sabres' last game Friday at Vancouver, Cody Hodgson gained control of the puck with an aggressive forecheck and dished to Stafford, who knocked in his own rebound to open the scoring 5:21 into the game.
The Canadiens tied it less than three minutes later. Prust exited the penalty box, hit Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers from behind in the neutral zone to trigger a 2-on-1 rush and buried Desharnais' pass at 8:15.
Moulson jumped on a loose puck in the slot and swept it underneath Price to put Buffalo back on top at 14:53. It was his first goal in 17 games.
Gionta skated behind the net and fired the puck in off the skate of Montreal defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to make it 3-1 with 40.8 seconds left in the first.
"At the start, we weren't alert. There was a lack of focus and concentration," said Montreal coach Michel Therrien.
The Sabres completed the season series with the Canadiens unbeaten in regulation, going 3-0-1 ... Swedish forward Jacob De La Rose made his NHL debut for Montreal ... Moulson's last goal came against Ottawa back on Dec. 15.