MONTREAL (NHL.com) - Max Pacioretty's 100th NHL goal broke a scoreless tie at 10:53 of the third period and helped the Montreal Canadiens to a 2-0 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.
Goaltender Carey Price made 24 saves for his fifth shutout of the season, 24th of his career, for the Canadiens (41-26-7), who have won three in a row and six of their past seven to move past the Tampa Bay Lightning into second place in the Atlantic Division.
Matt Hackett kept the Sabres (20-44-8) in the game by making 33 saves, including the first 31 he faced, but could not prevent Buffalo's 10th loss in its past 12 games.
Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers returned from a five-game absence caused by an elbow injury. He left the game at 6:15 of the third period after crashing into the goal post on a 2-on-1 break, but quickly returned.
Daniel Briere scored with 3:06 remaining on a power play for the Canadiens.
Montreal began its run with a historic comeback against the Ottawa Senators on March 15, scoring three times in the final 3:22 of regulation and at 1:26 of overtime to win 5-4.
Since then, the Canadiens have outscored their opponents 18-10 in winning five of six games, strengthening their placement in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Pacioretty's goal came in his 311th NHL game.
Coming off a 2-1 shootout victory Monday on the road against the Boston Bruins, the Canadiens had to guard against a letdown versus the last-place Sabres.
Through the first half of the game, the Sabres were skating with the Canadiens, leading 15-14 in shots on goal when Buffalo forward Matt D'Agostini was called for holding and unsportsmanlike conduct at 6:10 of the second period.
The Sabres were outshot by the Canadiens 21-9 from that point.
Pacioretty scored on a nice setup from Thomas Vanek, tapping in a pass that bounced off Hackett and in for his 32nd goal of the season.
Briere made it 2-0 when he fished a puck out of a crowd at the faceoff circle and put a wrist shot under the crossbar.