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Late penalty haunts Sabres in 3-1 loss

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While the Sabres were searching to for a way to break their now five game losing streak, Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens came into Buffalo and left with two points. Brendan Gallagher’s power play goal late in the third period sealed the deal, driving Montreal to a 3-1 victory at the First Niagara Center.

With just under three minutes remaining in the game, Tyler Ennis was called for interference, which turned out to be a huge blow for the Sabres.

The Canadiens scored once each period and were able to keep Buffalo’s offense held in check for the most part.

Drew Stafford’s physical play behind the Montreal net late in the 2nd period led to a big scoring chance for Buffalo, and finally the Sabres got on the board, but that was their lone goal. Matt Moulson was there to blast home a shot past Carey Price, ending an 11 game goalless drought.

Moulson said it was nice to finally get back on the scoresheet, but the end result was more important.

“I wan’t to help this team win,” Moulson said. “It just wasn’t enough tonight.

The Sabres’ offensive struggles continue as they have scored just six goals as many games. Buffalo were outshot 31-25 on the night as Ryan Miller took the loss.

Alex Galchenyuk deflected a shot from Andrei Markov on an odd man rush with 2:39 remaining in the opening period, his 6th of the season. P.K. Subban ripped a shot from the point on a power play, that was deflected past Miller for Montreal’s second goal of the night. David Desharnais was the last one to touch it, giving him his 2nd goal of the year.

Interim head coach Ted Nolan said liked the team’s effort tonight in the fact that they competed.

“I’m never happy after a loss,” Nolan said. “I am happy that we are competing.”

It was a one goal game and the Sabres had opportunities throughout the night, but Price stood tall. Montreal took advantage of the late Ennis penalty and went home with a 3-1 victory.

“When things are difficult, it’s easy to point fingers,” Nolan said. “We’re making strides.”

About eight minutes into the opening period, Steve Ott took a high stick to the face and quickly skated off to the locker room with a blood trail and a trainer behind him. The Sabres couldn’t take advantage of a four minute power play, but Ott would return later that period.

Matt D’Agostini did not play, but is expected to be at the Sabres practice on Thursday morning. He will likely make his debut on Friday against the Maple Leafs.

As for Corey Tropp, who the Sabres hope clears waivers, Nolan told the media why Buffalo wanted to send him to Rochester.

“Corey didn’t play a lot last year,” Nolan said. “And we can’t develop our younger players with them playing 5-6 minutes on the 4th line. We need to stay on our toes because this could happen to anybody.”

Buffalo will remain home and host another division rival, the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday. That game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop.

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