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(Saturday, February 2nd)
Final Score: Montreal 6, Buffalo 1
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Rene Bourque and David Desharnais each scored twice as the Montreal Canadiens thumped the Buffalo Sabres, 6-1, on Saturday.
Lars Eller posted a goal and two assists while P.K. Subban posted an assist in his season debut for the Canadiens, who have won five of their last six games. Carey Price made 30 saves in the win.
"I feel better and am more comfortable and healthy," said Bourque. "I want to prove to myself that I can be better than last year. I wanted to improve over the summer and make it a good season and make a difference on this team. I'm happy with the start to my season and I'm happy with the whole team's start to the season."
Thomas Vanek scored the lone goal for the Sabres, who have lost five of their last six games. Ryan Miller started in net, but was pulled at the start of the third after giving up four goals on 21 shots. Jhonas Enroth stopped 9-of-11 in 20 minutes of relief.
"We were caught up in the notion from the other night and obviously we didn't have our top game from the bat," said Buffalo head coach Lundy Ruff. "We started in the second but it was too late. We made some poor decisions that really hurt."
The first goal of the game didn't come until there was eight seconds left in the opening period. On the power play, Brian Gionta caught up to the puck at the right wing in the Buffalo end and from the circle he sent a pass to the net that saw Bourque hit it off his skate then his stick for his second goal of the season.
Montreal made it a 2-0 game 2:03 into the second period on a goal from Brendan Gallagher.
The Habs scored twice in a 24 second span later in the middle stanza to open up a 4-0 lead.
On the first, Tyler Ennis had banged a shot off the crossbar in the Montreal end and the puck went the other way. Eller took the puck down the left wing and left a drop pass for Desharnais, who shot it home for his first of the season.
Moments later, Alex Galchenyuk lost the puck in the slot, but it went over to the right where Eller grabbed it before slipping it past Miller.
Montreal continued to pour it on in the third on Enroth as a 3-on-1 break saw Tomas Plekanec send a pass from the right circle to the low left side where Bourque pushed it in just 1:22 into the frame.
Vanek scored on a breakaway while shorthanded less than two minutes later, but Buffalo answered on the power play with 7:17 to play on Desharnais' second of the game to put the contest away.
Buffalo hosts Florida on Sunday ... Montreal hosts Ottawa on Sunday ... The Sabres won five of six against the Canadiens last season ... Montreal scored twice on eight power plays while Buffalo failed on all six of its man advantages ... Buffalo had just one shot in the first period, its fewest total for one frame since being held to no shots in the third period of a game against Anaheim on Oct. 7, 2011.
02/02 17:34:56 ET