Series (Game 2 of 5)

Buffalo leads 4-1

Game 1: Saturday, October 12th
Game 2: Saturday, December 21st
Game 3: Saturday, January 11th
Game 4: Wednesday, February 19th
Game 5: Friday, March 28th

Sabres 2

(8-18-1, 22 pts)

Canadiens 6

(16-12-2, 38 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 21, 2002

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1 2 3 T
BUF 0 1 12
MTL 2 3 16

D. Gilmour (Canadiens - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

Y. Perreault (Canadiens - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

S. Koivu (Canadiens - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

Canadiens jump on Sabres early in victory

MONTREAL (AP) -- Doug Gilmour and the Montreal Canadiens made their shots count.

Doug Gilmour

Gilmour scored twice, and Yanic Perreault and Saku Koivu each had a goal and two assists to lead Montreal to a 6-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

Richard Zednik and Chad Kilger also scored for the Canadiens, who won their second straight, and sixth in eight.

Montreal, which scored all six goals on its first 12 shots, was outshot 38-16.

"People seem to pay a lot of attention to shots -- and we do, too -- but we look more at scoring chances,'' Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "For us, we were able to finish. We took advantage of our scoring chances.''

Montreal scored three times on four shots in the second period against Mika Noronen, who took over from Martin Biron after the Canadiens scored twice on six shots in the first.

"It was like when I have a nightmare and I can't put my glove on the puck or stop anything, only I never woke up,'' Noronen said.

Jose Theodore made 36 saves for Montreal, allowing Adam Mair's goal with 3:14 left in the second -- 44 seconds after Zednik put Montreal up 5-0 -- and Miroslav Satan's power-play goal with 1:58 left in the third.

"It feels a lot like last year,'' Theodore said. "The guys are scoring big goals, I'm making big saves and from there, we come out of it with a win.''

Buffalo, which lost 3-0 to Florida on Friday, is 1-4-1 in its last six games.

Perreault scored off a scramble in front of Biron 3:21 in, and Gilmour made it 2-0 with a power-play goal on Mariusz Czerkawski's behind-the-back pass across the crease at 10:25.

Noronen replaced Biron and allowed goals on the first two shots he faced. Koivu scored on Montreal's seventh shot of the game when he beat Noronen through the legs for his 11th of the season at 3:43.

Gilmour got his eighth -- second of the game -- three minutes later when he tipped Perreault's shot in to put the Canadiens up 4-0 on their eighth shot.

"When you get up 4-0 or 5-1, it's not as if you're sitting back, but you're not going too aggressive or anything, so that's why we didn't have as many shots,'' Gilmour said.

Zednik increased the lead to five at 16:02 with his 16th on Montreal's 10th shot.

Mair got his third goal of the season at 16:46 when Theodore failed to stop the puck after the Sabres center lost control of it while driving to the net.

Koivu got his third point 6:29 into the third when he set up Kilger's fifth goal on a 2-on-1.

Game notes

Sabres C Tim Connolly's shot hit Theodore's left arm before striking the right post before Perreault opened the scoring. ... Koivu's goal was his 300th career regular-season point. ... Gilmour and Perreault both have five-game point streaks. Perreault has five goals and four assists in that stretch, while Gilmour has four goals and four assists. ... Montreal, which doesn't play at home again until Jan. 9, begins a season-high, seven-game road trip in New York against the Islanders on Monday.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press