(SportsNetwork.com) – The Montreal Canadiens will try to avoid only their
second three-game losing streak of the season Saturday when they host the
Buffalo Sabres in the finale of a home-and-home series.
Montreal was well rested for Friday’s opener in Buffalo, having had four days
of rest after losing 5-0 to the New York Rangers on Sunday. However, the
Sabres were able to halt a six-game slide against the Canadiens by posting a
2-1 regulation victory at First Niagara Centre.
Matt Moulson played the hero for Buffalo, scoring the game-winning goal with
1:18 left in the third period. It was the fourth goal of the season for
Moulson and his first game-winning tally.
Montreal tied the game at 1-1 early in the third, but Buffalo was able to go
on top thanks to a fortunate bounce while on a power play. Tyler Ennis had
dumped the puck into the Montreal end off the glass and Habs goaltender Carey
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
Ennis had the other goal for the Sabres and Jhonas Enroth made 30 saves for
the win. It was the fourth victory in the last five games for Buffalo, which
is suddenly surging after beginning 2014-15 with a dreadful 3-13-2 record.
P.A. Parenteau had the only goal for the Canadiens, who fell for the third
time in five games. Price allowed both goals on 25 shots.
“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.”
The Canadiens, who lead the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference with 33
points, have managed only a total of three goals over the last three games.
Montreal’s only three-game slide this season came during an 0-2-1 stretch from
Oct. 30-Nov. 4.
Friday’s setback was the Habs’ first loss against Buffalo since a 2-1 defeat
in Montreal on March 23, 2013. The Habs have claimed two straight encounters
at the Bell Centre and are 3-1-1 in their last five home tilts versus Buffalo.