BUFFALO, N.Y. – Martin Biron made 40 saves, and Brian Campbell and Tim Connolly each had a goal and an assist to give the Buffalo Sabres a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

Ales Kotalik also scored for the Sabres, who have won five of six. Buffalo has earned 11 of 12 points during the stretch.

Richard Zednik scored for Montreal, which lost for the third time in four games.

Biron made several key saves to preserve the win, including four in the final 50 seconds of the second period when Montreal peppered him with 18 shots. He was also helped when Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov hit the goal post with less than five minutes remaining in the game.

After a scoreless first period, Kotalik scored his 12th goal at 6:30 of the second to give Buffalo a 1-0 lead. Kotalik streaked toward the Montreal goal and converted Adam Mair’s pass from the left corner, scoring his fourth goal in five games.

Kotalik is tied with Daniel Briere for the team lead in goals.

Buffalo grabbed a 2-0 lead over five minutes later on the power play when Campbell scored his fifth goal. Skating in from the left point, Campbell one-timed Chris Drury’s cross-ice pass from the right circle, lifting the puck over goalie Yann Danis.

Zednik spoiled Biron’s shutout bid with his seventh goal 31/2 minutes into the third, tapping in Markov’s pass while standing to the left of the Buffalo goalie.

Connolly iced it on the power play with his sixth goal, scored with just over three minutes to go.

Danis, making his first appearance since allowing four goals on 17 shots in 29 minutes in Montreal’s loss to Washington last Saturday, finished with 28 saves in losing for the second straight game.

Notes: The Sabres have won four of five at home, and six of eight overall. … Briere, Buffalo’s leading scorer, missed his second game with an abdominal injury. … Montreal D Sheldon Souray didn’t play for the second straight game because of a groin injury. … Buffalo LW Taylor Pyatt left in the first period and didn’t return due to a right wrist injury. The Sabres also lost RW Mike Grier in the third period after he collided with Connolly at center ice. … Drury’s assist on Campbell’s goal extended his point streak to four games. … Montreal has dropped eight of nine in Buffalo. … The Sabres have scored a power-play goal in 16 of their last 17 games.

AP-ES-11-25-05 2231EST


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