|BUF||1||1||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|MTL||0||3||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|Thomas Vanek (Photo: Getty Images)|
| Game Highlights
Lindy Ruff: Audio
Thomas Vanek: Audio
Patrick Lalime: Audio
Jaroslav Spacek: Audio
MONTREAL (AP) -Andrei Markov scored Montreal's third goal of the second period to send the Canadiens to a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.
Andrei Kostitsyn and Steve Begin also scored in the middle period for Montreal.
Thomas Vanek scored twice for Buffalo to regain the NHL scoring lead from Philadelphia's Jeff Carter with 17 goals.
The Sabres have lost nine of their past 12 games (3-8-1).
Carey Price made 26 saves to win his second in a row.
Montreal, which improved to 4-2-2 in its past eight games, began its longest homestand in team history. The Canadiens, who are celebrating their 100th season, will also face Atlanta, the New York Rangers, New Jersey, Calgary, Tampa Bay and Washington during their homestand, which ends Dec. 13.
Markov put Montreal ahead 18:30 into the second period when he took Saku Koivu's centering pass and beat Patrick Lalime from the slot for his third goal of the season.
Vanek ended a four-game goal drought to open the scoring with a highlight-reel power-play goal 13:31 in. He put his stick between his legs to tap a puck past Price from the goalmouth.
He added his second of the game - his 17th goal to move ahead of Carter for the league lead - 7:39 into the second period to put Buffalo up 2-1.
Kostitsyn drew Montreal even at 1 with an unassisted goal 2:51 into the second. Kostitsyn fanned on his initial shot but recovered the puck to put a backhand past Lalime.
Begin drew Montreal even for the second time in the period at 13:40 as he one-timed Maxim Lapierre's pass from the left side and beat Lalime for his third goal.
The Sabres killed a full 2-minute 5-on-3 Canadiens power play 5:58 into the third after Jaroslav Spacek was called for holding and Adam Mair was sent off for elbowing.
Notes: Lalime stopped 31 shots. ... Sabres G Ryan Miller had appeared in 12 of Buffalo's past 13 games, including 11 starts, going 5-5-1 over that stretch. ... Canadiens LW Alex Tanguay missed his second straight game. He is day to day because of a neck injury he suffered during Wednesday's 3-1 win in Detroit.
|PPG - Thomas Vanek (17) Wrist shot - ASST: Clarke MacArthur (5), Jaroslav Spacek (11)|
1 - 0 BUF
|Andrei Kostitsyn (4) Backhand shot - ASST: NONE|
1 - 1 Tie
|Thomas Vanek (18) Wrist shot - ASST: Drew Stafford (5), Derek Roy (11)|
2 - 1 BUF
|Steve Begin (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Maxim Lapierre (1), Roman Hamrlik (5)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Andrei Markov (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Saku Koivu (12), Andrei Kostitsyn (5)|
3 - 2 MTL
|Jochen Hecht Tripping against Robert Lang|
|Sergei Kostitsyn Slashing against Thomas Vanek|
|Paul Gaustad Tripping against Josh Gorges|
|Guillaume Latendresse Interference against Drew Stafford|
|Mark Mancari Tripping against Andrei Kostitsyn|
|Sergei Kostitsyn Tripping against Henrik Tallinder|
|Matt D'Agostini Hooking against Derek Roy|
|Derek Roy Hooking against Matt D'Agostini|
|Sergei Kostitsyn Slashing against Craig Rivet|
|Adam Mair Elbowing against Andrei Kostitsyn|
|Jaroslav Spacek Holding against Maxim Lapierre|
|Steve Begin Hi-sticking against Drew Stafford|
|SA: 34||TOI: 58:49|
|Saves: 31||EV: 19 - 22|
|PIM: 0||PP: 9 - 9|
|SV%: .912||SH: 3 - 3|
|SA: 28||TOI: 59:50|
|Saves: 26||EV: 17 - 18|
|PIM: 0||PP: 7 - 8|
|SV%: .929||SH: 2 - 2|