MONTREAL (NHL.com) - Tomas Plekanec and Brandon Prust had a goal and an assist and Carey Price made 23 saves to lead the Montreal Canadiens to their fifth straight win, 3-2 against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.
Tyler Ennis had a goal and an assist and rookie Zemgus Girgensons snapped a 27-game goal drought for the Sabres (6-22-2), but it wasn't enough to give coach Ted Nolan his first win against a team other than the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Sabres are 2-1-0 against the Maple Leafs since Nolan took over from Ron Rolston behind the bench Nov. 13, but 0-6-1 in their seven other games. The game against the Canadiens did mark the first time the Sabres scored more than one goal against a team other than Toronto since Nolan took over.
Jhonas Enroth made 16 saves and took his first career loss against Montreal after winning his first three starts.
Price extended his streak of allowing two or fewer goals to 10 starts, running his record to 8-1-1 with a .949 save percentage during that span.
After a scoreless first period in which the Sabres and Canadiens combined for nine shots on goal, play picked up in the second with 23 shots and four goals between the two teams.
Prust got Montreal on the board 19 seconds into the period when converted a Ryan White feed for his third goal of the season. The Sabres tied it at 8:35 when Ennis scored his second goal in as many games, one-timing a Christian Ehrhoff feed from the corner past Price for his sixth goal of the season.
The Canadiens took control of the game when Plekanec and Galchenyuk scored 23 seconds apart late in the middle period.
Plekanec took a feed in front from Prust and wired it top corner past Enroth at 17:44 for his 11th goal of the season and fifth in eight games. Off the ensuing draw the Canadiens entered the Sabres zone and Plekanec fed Andrei Markov with a pass that was in his skates, but Markov kicked it up to his stick before feeding Galchenyuk with a beautiful pass through the slot for his eighth goal of the season at 18:07 to put Montreal ahead 3-1.
Girgensons pulled the Sabres within a goal at 4:04 of the third on a great individual effort, with a little help from Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban. Ennis flipped the puck into the Montreal zone and it wound up in Subban's skates, where Girgensons picked it up, moved around Subban and deked past Price for his second goal of the season and of his career.
The Sabres had a great opportunity to tie it when Subban was called for holding the stick at 11:08, but Buffalo's 25th-ranked power play could not get a shot on goal against Montreal's third-ranked penalty kill.
The Sabres got only one more shot on goal the rest of the game.