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Samuel Montembeault made 32 saves for his first NHL shutout, Nick Suzuki scored his second goal of the game on a penalty shot and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight victory.
“I feel really good, especially to be able to get my first shutout here at the Bell Centre.” Montembeault said. “I think I’ll go speak with the time-keeper because I think the time moved a lot slower in the third than in the other periods. But I’m really happy the guys did an exceptional job and we got the win.”
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Cole Caufield had a goal and an assist, and Jake Evans added an empty-netter.
“There are guys that take care of the team and you win a lot of games that way,” Canadiens interim coach Martin St. Louis said. “When you’re up 4-0 and you block shots with one minute left. It’s fun to see how quickly the culture progressed.”
Craig Anderson made 25 saves for Buffalo. The Sabres have lost four in a row.
“There’s a lot more jam to their game, their work ethic was higher than the last game that we played against them,” Buffalo forward Alex Tuch said about Montreal.
“I thought it was a good character. I think it was 4-0 and you see Gallagher sell out for a block there at the end. We need a lot more of that in our locker room. It’s not there right now and we have to look upon ourselves to change that.”
The Canadiens scored the first goal for a fourth straight game following a giveaway by Cody Eakin in his own zone. Montreal tried to respond with a shot, with Suzuki pouncing on a loose puck in the slot and tapping it in.
Suzuki was awarded a penalty shot at 5:57 of the second period after the center intercepted the puck in the neutral zone and was hooked by Dylan Cousins. Suzuki started his attempt far on the right side, then patiently cut inside and beat Anderson with an upper right-hand corner shot.
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NOTES: In St. Louis’ seven-game tenure, Caufield has six goals and four assists. … Montreal’s Josh Anderson left the game late in the second when he was hit in the head while trying to block a shot from Casey Mittelstadt. Paul Byron also didn’t return to the game after suffering a hit in the first period.
Sabres: At St. Louis on Friday night.
Canadiens: At Ottawa on Saturday night.