Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Canadiens' power play does it again in 3-1 win over Sabres

The SportsXchange

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Montreal Canadiens have a simple recipe for their red-hot power play.

"It's get the pucks to the net and creating traffic, and the goals we've scored, that's what we do," right winger Brendan Gallagher said. "When we try to overcomplicate things, we're not a very good power play. So we know, we talk about it every game, we keep it simple. We get pucks and people to the net and that's what we talked about and that's the only way we have success."

The Canadiens executed that plan to near perfection Wednesday night. The best road power play in the NHL scored twice with the extra man on its way to a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. Center David Descharnais and Gallagher each had power play goals, and center Alex Galchenyuk scored at even strength in the victory.

The Canadiens (14-9-2) were two-of-four on the evening with the extra attacker and also killed off an early four-minute Sabres power play. The special teams success led Montreal to a fourth consecutive win.

"The guys keep it simple," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. "We have to make some adjustments at times. Special teams are always crucial and our guys did a good job again tonight."

Canadiens goaltender Carey Price made 24 saves.

Left winger Matt Moulson scored for the Sabres (5-20-1), who lost their fifth game in a row. Goaltender Ryan Miller had 28 saves.

"I'm never happy after a loss," Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. "But I'm happy with the way we started competing."

Galchenyuk opened the scoring with 2:39 left in the first period following a pretty feed from center Lars Eller. Eller flew past Buffalo forward Drew Stafford inside the right circle and held onto the puck just long enough before feeding a perfect backhand to defenseman Andrei Markov, who had plenty of net to shoot at with Miller committed to his right. Markov's shot deflected off of Galchenyuk's skate for Galchenyuk's sixth goal of the year.

Descharnais made it 2-0 by tipping home a blast from defenseman P.K. Subban on the power play at 13:44 of the second period. Subban rifled a slap shot from the left point for his 18th assist of the year.

"We got three lines we could put out there," Therrien said of his power play. "The way we decide who's going to go on the ice is when I see a line is having success that night and has played well. We need depth to score some goals and we certainly have some."

Moulson cut Montreal's lead to 2-1 late in the second period following a hard check from right winger Drew Stafford on Subban in the left corner of the ice. Stafford then found Moulson in front of the net for the left winger's ninth goal.

Gallagher gave the Canadiens some late insurance by scoring on the power play with 1:44remaining. Gallagher blasted a shot from the slot past Miller to make it 3-1.

"You're not going to win too many games with one goal," Sabres center Tyler Ennis said.

Price wasn't tested much, but he came up big when called upon. Price's best save came 6:34 into the third period when he stopped Sabres left winger Marcus Foligno on a breakaway with his right pad. Foligno made a deke to his forehand but Price held up strong.

"We had a trailer on him pulling him tight and he just tried to outreach me and I got a toe on it," Price said.

"He gives us a chance to win every night," Therrien said of Price. "He's been phenomenal this year and he deserves a lot of credit."

Sabres captain Steve Ott briefly left the game after taking a high stick to the face eight minutes into the game. The Buffalo center was bleeding heavily after being hit by Galchenyuk, but he returned to action.

Montreal defenseman Douglas Murray left the game in the third period after a fight with Sabres enforcer John Scott. Murray was bloodied after receiving a gash above his left eye.

NOTES: Prior to the game, the Sabres were awarded RW Matt D'Agostini off of waivers. D'Agostini, a five-year veteran, was waived by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. He has 96 points in 275 games during time with the Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues and New Jersey Devils. ... Kevin Prendergast joined the Sabres' scouting staff. Prendergast will work with Buffalo assistant GM Kevin Devine as a pro and amateur scout. Prendergast most recently was a head scout for Hockey Canada's Program of Excellence and spent 20 years with the Edmonton Oilers organization. ... RW George Parros, RW Rene Bourque and D Francis Bouillon were scratched for Montreal ... Buffalo scratched D'Agostini, D Jamie McBain and D Mike Weber.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (1)