Canadiens’ Brian Gionta scores on Sabres’ Ryan Miller during the second period Saturday night. Peter McCabe, The Gazette
• At a Glance: One night after a total no-show in Atlanta, the Canadiens came to play from the opening faceoff Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres in a 3-1 win. Carey Price, with 34 saves, benefitted from the solid outing in front of him to post his league-leading 14th win of the season, more than he had all of last season. Ryan Miller, making his second start after missing some action with an injury, faced 20 shots in the first period and made some excellent saves before Andrei Kostitsyn scored his ninth goal of the season during a 5-on-3 power play 13:41 into the period. The Canadiens added two more in the second period thanks to captain Brian Gionta. He made it 2-0 12:26 into the period on a nice 2-on-1 rush with Kostitsyn, firing a shot past Miller after a nifty give and go. Four minutes later, Gionta scored his seventh of the season after taking a nice pass from Tomas Plekanec in the slot and ripping a shot over Miller’s blocker.
• Key Moments: Price’s bid for a league-leading fifth shutout of the season was ruined with about a minute left to play when Jordan Leopold scored on a wrist shot from the faceoff circle,
• What It Means: Montreal avoided losing consecutive games and improved to 15-8-1 on the season for 31 points, extending its lead over the Boston Bruins to five points. However, the Bruins do have three games in hand.
• What’s Next: The Canadiens have a few days off before their next game on Wednesday when the Edmonton Oilers come to town. The Canadiens are also in New Jersey on Thursday night. But before all that, there will be the team’s annual blood drive on Monday as well as the funeral services for former Canadiens head coach Pat Burns.