MONTREAL (AP)—The Montreal Canadiens played the lively bounces off the Bell Centre boards to their advantage.
Hamrlik was credited with a goal at 12:38 of the third period after his shot off the end boards went in off defenseman Toni Lydman. Chris Higgins scored into an empty net with 24.9 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
“I was in the right place at the right time,” said Smolinski, who drove the net to open the scoring 2:34 in off Hamrlik’s shot off the boards that caromed back out front.
“You’re going to lose games, we know that, but it’s a tough way to lose one when you get those bounces against you,” said Roy, whose goal was also the result of a fortuitous bounce off the boards. “When they’re for you, you’re all happy, but when they come against you, you’re like, ‘Why me?’ It’s going to happen.
“I thought we played a really good game. Our penalty kill did a good job. We were forcing them to shoot wide and they did shoot wide and they happened to get a lucky bounce.”
Miller made 23 saves, one night after stopping 26 shots in a 3-0 loss to Columbus.
“I think the league should look into the trampolines they installed here,” Miller said. “It’s unbelievable.”
Chipchura scored his first goal 7:10 into the second to tie it at 2. The Montreal rookie beat Miller cleanly over his right shoulder with a wrist shot from the right side into the top left corner for an unassisted effort.
“It wasn’t the hardest shot but it got through and I’ll take it,” Chipchura said.
Gaustad and Roy struck quickly earlier in the period to erase the Canadiens’ early 1-0 lead.
Gaustad drew the Sabres even at 4:12 when he redirected Tim Connolly’s shot from the left side past Huet for his second goal of the season.
Roy put Buffalo up 2-1 with his fifth goal at 4:21 when he beat Huet from the slot.
Smolinski, playing his 999th regular-season game, opened the scoring with his first Montreal goal on a power play 2:34 in.
The veteran forward drove the net and flipped a rebound of Hamrlik’s shot off the end boards over Miller into the top of the net.
Sabres D Jaroslav Spacek missed his second straight game because of a shoulder injury. … LW Andrew Peters was Buffalo’s only healthy scratch. … Canadiens RW Alex Kovalev played his 998th regular-season game.