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Theodore leads NHL with 4 shutouts

11/9/2003

MONTREAL (AP) -- Jose Theodore made it clear he values team
results over personal ones.

Theodore got his NHL-leading fourth shutout and drew an assist
on Chad Kilger's goal, leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-0 win
over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

Theodore, who has allowed just two goals in his six wins this
season, made 16 saves for his 21st career shutout as Montreal ended
a three-game losing streak.

"It's just a bonus," Theodore said of the shutouts. "The wins
are the most important thing, the way we're playing right now. It's
really a team thing.

"I had just a couple of tough saves to make. When the game's
only 2-0, you just don't want to let any bad goals in, so you
concentrate on making every save."

Jan Bulis and Sheldon Souray also scored, and Patrice Brisebois
had two assists for the Canadiens, who have been outscored 24-7 while losing six of their last
seven, including a 2-1 setback Friday night in Buffalo.

"I thought tonight we played better defensively than we did
(Friday) night and I think that was the key to the victory," said
Canadiens captain Saku Koivu, who played both games against the
Sabres after missing the first 13 because of a knee injury.

Buffalo's Mika Noronen made his second straight start in place
of Martin Biron, who allowed a season-high seven goals Wednesday in
a 7-4 loss to Atlanta. Noronen made 24 saves after stopping 36 of
37 shots Friday night.

Sabres defenseman Alexei Zhitnik was given a major for kneeing
and a match penalty 1:54 into the third after he stuck out his leg
to cause a knee-on-knee collision with Montreal's Michael Ryder. That hit forced the Canadiens' rookie to leave the game.

Buffalo had 39 minutes in penalties, allowing eight power plays,
including five in the second period alone.

"We just got into so much penalty trouble," defenseman James
Patrick said. "We can't be taking four-minute (penalties) and
(majors). We killed a double minor and came out of the box, and
then took another one. That obviously ruined our momentum, and I
think they outplayed us tonight. That's the difference."

Canadiens defenseman Stephane Quintal missed his second straight game because of an irregular heartbeat. Quintal was examined in
Buffalo after he was scratched from the lineup Friday when he
experienced fatigue and shortness of breath.

He returned to Montreal with the team and was sent home to rest
after undergoing tests at Montreal General Hospital. Test results
are expected within a few days.

Bulis, who had one assist in Montreal's first 14 games,
deflected in Brisebois' point shot for his first of the season with
6:49 left in the first period.

Theodore drew an assist on Kilger's goal late in the second. The
Canadiens' goalie and Brisebois combined to move the puck up to
Kilger, who beat Noronen with a wrist shot from the right faceoff
circle at 18:43, just one second after a penalty to Buffalo's
Daniel Briere expired.

Sabres rookie Andrew Peters fought with Montreal enforcer Darren
Langdon midway through the final period. Buffalo's Adam Mair and
Canadiens defenseman Craig Rivet dropped the gloves just 19 seconds
later.

Souray got his team-leading sixth goal on a power play with 5.6
seconds remaining.

Game Notes: Biron had not missed consecutive starts since Ryan Miller
started the first two games of the season. ... Canadiens C Yanic
Perreault was a healthy scratch for both games against Buffalo. ...
Theodore has allowed five or more goals in four of his six losses.