MONTREAL (AP)—Jose Theodore made it clear he values team results over personal ones.
Theodore, who has allowed just two goals in his six wins this season, made 16 saves for his 21st career shutout as Montreal ended a three-game losing streak.
“It’s just a bonus,” Theodore said of the shutouts. “The wins are the most important thing, the way we’re playing right now. It’s really a team thing.
“I had just a couple of tough saves to make. When the game’s only 2-0, you just don’t want to let any bad goals in, so you concentrate on making every save.”
“I thought tonight we played better defensively than we did (Friday) night and I think that was the key to the victory,” said Canadiens captain Saku Koivu, who played both games against the Sabres after missing the first 13 because of a knee injury.
Buffalo’s Mika Noronen made his second straight start in place of Martin Biron, who allowed a season-high seven goals Wednesday in a 7-4 loss to Atlanta. Noronen made 24 saves after stopping 36 of 37 shots Friday night.
“It’s kind of hard to say if they gave us anything different, but maybe they were skating a little bit more than us,” Noronen said. “I guess that was the main thing, and we had lots of penalty killing so we couldn’t get anything going.”
Sabres defenseman Alexei Zhitnik was given a major for kneeing and a match penalty 1:54 into the third after he stuck out his leg to cause a knee-on-knee collision with Montreal’s Michael Ryder. That hit forced the Canadiens’ rookie to leave the game.
Buffalo had 39 minutes in penalties, allowing eight power plays, including five in the second period alone.
“We just got into so much penalty trouble,” defenseman James Patrick said. “We can’t be taking four-minute (penalties) and (majors). We killed a double minor and came out of the box, and then took another one. That obviously ruined our momentum, and I think they outplayed us tonight. That’s the difference.”
Canadiens defenseman Stephane Quintal missed his second straight game because of an irregular heartbeat. Quintal was examined in Buffalo after he was scratched from the lineup Friday when he experienced fatigue and shortness of breath.
He returned to Montreal with the team and was sent home to rest after undergoing tests at Montreal General Hospital. Test results are expected within a few days.
Bulis, who had one assist in Montreal’s first 14 games, deflected in Brisebois’ point shot for his first of the season with 6:49 left in the first period.
Theodore drew an assist on Kilger’s goal late in the second. The Canadiens’ goalie and Brisebois combined to move the puck up to Kilger, who beat Noronen with a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle at 18:43, just one second after a penalty to Buffalo’s Daniel Briere expired.
Sabres rookie Andrew Peters fought with Montreal enforcer Darren Langdon midway through the final period. Buffalo’s Adam Mair and Canadiens defenseman Craig Rivet dropped the gloves just 19 seconds later.
Souray got his team-leading sixth goal on a power play with 5.6 secondsremaining.
Biron had not missed consecutive starts since Ryan Miller started the first two games of the season. … Canadiens C Yanic Perreault was a healthy scratch for both games against Buffalo. … Theodore has allowed five or moregoals in four of his six losses.