Montreal goaltender Carey Price made 24 saves for his fifth
shutout, and left winger Max Pacioretty scored his 100th regular
season goal 10:53 into the third period to send the Canadiens to a
2-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
Price stopped Buffalo center Cody Hodgson's short-handed backhand
shot at 16:41 of the third to protect his 24th career shutout, which
moved him past Jose Theodore into seventh place on Montreal's
Canadiens center Daniel Briere made it a two-goal lead with his 13th
goal at 16:54 of the third.
Montreal won its third in a row, all against Atlantic Division
opponents, including a 2-1 shootout win in Boston on Monday night
that ended the Bruins' 12-game winning streak two days after beating
the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"You win in Toronto, and then it's an emotional game in Boston, and
that was able to carry us through, but tonight was kind of the
forgotten game," Briere said. "Nobody really talked about it, the
last-place team, and it seemed like the easy game of the bunch, but
actually it was really tough to come back out, to try to get
emotional after such a high (Wednesday), and that's why it took us a
little longer to get going."
The Canadiens moved into second place in the division with 89
points, two ahead of Tampa Bay. The Canadiens have eight games
remaining, two less than the Lightning.
"This is a very important time for us," Price said. "Obviously,
everybody's trying to make the playoffs and to be able to pick up
points against divisional teams and play well, it's definitely a
Montreal right winger Thomas Vanek got his first point against his
former team when Pacioretty tipped home the former Sabres sniper's
feed for his team-leading 32nd goal.
Goalie Matt Hackett stopped 33 shots in his second start in three
games for Buffalo, which has one win in its last 10 games (1-9-0).
"It's tough right now," Hackett said. "We're in last place so we're
just playing to prove some stuff. We come out here and work every
night and we want that to be our identity, just to compete and put
forth a good effort, that's all we can do."
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Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers left the game briefly 6:15 into the
third after crashing into the Canadiens' net. Myers, who returned
after missing five games because of an arm injury, hit the left
goalpost with his left side after he lost his edge on Montreal
defenseman Alexei Emelin's stick while driving to the net.
"(Myers) made a great effort to get back here and he's a little bit
banged up, but hopefully a couple of days rest will get him ready
for Nashville," Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said.
NOTES: Canadiens D Jarred Tinordi returned to the lineup after being
a healthy scratch the previous two games. ... Montreal D Francis
Bouillon sat out to make room for Tinordi and RW George Parros was
also a healthy scratch. ... The Canadiens were also without RW Dale
Weise and LW Travis Moen, both of whom were injured in a game
against the Boston Bruins on Monday night, and LW Brandon Prust
(upper body) and D Josh Gorges (hand). ... Buffalo G Matt Hackett,
nephew of former Canadiens G Jeff Hackett, made his first career
appearance against Montreal. ... Hackett became the fourth Sabres
netminder to see action against the Canadiens in four meetings this
season, after G Ryan Miller, G Jhonas Enroth and G Nathan Lieuwen.
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