Hamrlik's third-period goal helps end Canadiens' skid

MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Canadiens played the lively bounces
off the Bell Centre boards to their advantage.

Roman Hamrlik had a goal and two assists to lift Montreal to a
4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

Hamrlik was credited with a goal at 12:38 of the third period
after his shot off the end boards went in off defenseman Toni Lydman. Christopher Higgins scored into an empty net with .9 seconds
remaining to seal the victory.

Bryan Smolinski and Kyle Chipchura also had goals for the
Canadiens, who ended a three-game losing streak (0-2-1), including
a 4-3 loss in Ottawa on Thursday night.

"I was in the right place at the right time," said Smolinski,
who drove the net to open the scoring 2:34 in off Hamrlik's shot
off the boards that caromed back out front.

Paul Gaustad and Derek Roy scored 9 seconds apart for Buffalo,
which lost its second in a row to begin a five-game road trip.

"You're going to lose games, we know that, but it's a tough way
to lose one when you get those bounces against you," said Roy,
whose goal was also the result of a fortuitous bounce off the
boards. "When they're for you, you're all happy, but when they
come against you, you're like, 'Why me?' It's going to happen.

"I thought we played a really good game. Our penalty kill did a
good job. We were forcing them to shoot wide and they did shoot
wide and they happened to get a lucky bounce."

Ryan Miller made 23 saves, one night after stopping 26 shots in a 3-0
loss to Columbus.

"I think the league should look into the trampolines they
installed here," Miller said. "It's unbelievable."

Chipchura scored his first goal 7:10 into the second to tie it
at 2. The Montreal rookie beat Miller cleanly over his right
shoulder with a wrist shot from the right side into the top left
corner for an unassisted effort.

"It wasn't the hardest shot but it got through and I'll take
it," Chipchura said.

Gaustad and Roy struck quickly earlier in the period to erase
the Canadiens' early 1-0 lead.

Gaustad drew the Sabres even at 4:12 when he redirected Tim
Connolly's shot from the left side past Huet for his second goal of
the season.

Roy put Buffalo up 2-1 with his fifth goal at 4:21 when he beat
Huet from the slot.

Smolinski, playing his 999th regular-season game, opened the
scoring with his first Montreal goal on a power play 2:34 in.

The veteran forward drove the net and flipped a rebound of
Hamrlik's shot off the end boards over Miller into the top of the

Game notes
Sabres D Jaroslav Spacek missed his second straight game
because of a shoulder injury. ... LW Andrew Peters was Buffalo's
only healthy scratch. ... Canadiens RW Alex Kovalev played his
998th regular-season game.