Sabres add to Habs' recent woes

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[February 04, 2016]  MONTREAL -- Same story, different day for the Montreal Canadiens.

The Buffalo Sabres erased Montreal's one-goal, third period lead with a trio of tallies to skate away with a 4-2 win on Wednesday night at the Bell Centre.

It was the Canadiens' fourth straight loss and ninth in their last 10 games.

"You have to believe in yourselves and you have to believe in your teammates," said right winger Brendan Gallagher of the Habs' two-month long downward spiral. "If you don't, it's going to go south on us quick.

"No matter what we go through, you have to have that confidence that when you look around the locker room, you can trust each and every single guy. We're going through a very, very tough time, we're not getting results we want but you can't lose that belief in each other."

Left wingers Marcus Foligno, Jamie McGinn and Johan Larsson, and right winger Brian Gionta scored for the Sabres.

Right winger Dale Weise and left winger Alex Galchenyuk scored for Montreal.

Goaltender Robin Lehner made 32 saves for Buffalo (21-26-4). Counterpart Mike Condon stopped 28 shots for the Canadiens (24-24-4).

The Canadiens got off to a good start, outshooting the Sabres 6-0 through the first five minutes. But it was Buffalo who hit the scoresheet first at 5:10. Zemgus Girgensons picked up defenseman Cody Franson's light dump-in to the Montreal zone along the left side before sending a pass from the corner to an uncovered Foligno in the low slot.

"I thought they came out quick and hard, and came at us," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "They had some shots and flurries. We helped them out a bit with how we played with the puck but they had us back on our heels. We did need (that goal).

Montreal's power play connected for the fourth straight game to tie it up at 3:19 of the second period. Defenseman P.K. Subban waited for an opening before saucering a cross-ice feed to left winger Max Pacioretty in the right circle. Pacioretty directed his shot at the net, with Weise standing at the opposite side for the deflection.

Galchenyuk showed off his skill to put the Canadiens up 2-1 at 11:04. After center Tomas Plekanec won the faceoff, Galchenyuk skated around the top of the circle before deking out center Ryan O'Reilly at the bottom and lifting a backhander past Lehner.

The Sabres came close to tying it shortly thereafter on an Evander Kane breakaway attempt but Condon denied the winger with his blocker.

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McGinn brought the game back to square one at 7:34 of the third period. Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen sent a Jack Eichel feed towards the net, where McGinn was waiting in the slot for the tip-in, blocker side.

"We didn't get frustrated with ourselves," McGinn said. "We stayed positive. We just had to continue to get shots to the net and fortunately they started hitting the back of the net. It was a huge win for us."

Larsson gave the Sabres the lead at 11:46 when he tipped in Jake McCabe's goal line shot while crashing the net.

"Feeling good about our game, feeling really good about our game, up 2-1 in the third and they tie it up, and it felt like it took the life out of us," Pacioretty said. "We have to find ways to stay strong in a situation like that and know that it's still a tie game in the third and there's valuable points on the line. It was a letdown."

Gionta capped off the scoring into an empty net.

NOTES: Montreal made two changes to its lineup. The Canadiens inserted RW Sven Andrighetto in place of LW Lucas Lessio, who was injured Tuesday against the Flyers, and D Alexei Emelin was back in after sitting as a healthy scratch, replacing D Mark Barberio. The Canadiens also scratched D Greg Pateryn. ... C Sam Reinhart, LW Nicolas Deslauriers and D Josh Gorges all returned for Buffalo after missing three, 11 and three games, respectively. ... The Sabres scratched D Mike Weber and D Carlo Colaiacovo. ... The two teams met on Feb. 3 for a second consecutive year. ... Only seven current Sabres players were on Buffalo's roster in last year's game on this date.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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