Roy, Lalime help Sabres end skid, top Canadiens

BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) — Derek Roy scored two goals and
Patrick Lalime made 38 saves as the Buffalo Sabres cruised to a
5-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.

Paul Gaustad also netted a pair of goals and defenseman Jaroslav
Spacek recorded a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who snapped
a three-game losing streak and won for the fourth time in 11

“It was a huge game,” Roy said. “We know we’re trying to catch
teams in the standings right now and every two points is huge.
I think going out and putting a team effort, both defensively
and offensively was great to see.”

“It’s good this time of year, every win we can get,” Lalime
added. “We’re all working at this together and we all want to
get in the playoffs.”

The Canadiens entered the contest on a four-game winning streak
but were forced to start All-Star goaltender Carey Price instead
of red-hot Jaroslav Halak, who is recovering from the flu.

Price, who has struggled since injuring his ankle over three
months ago, had another rough outing in this one. The
21-year-old turned aside 22 shots.

“I didn’t feel that great, to be honest,” said Price, who has
not won in over a month. “I felt a little rusty, but I have to
play better. I’ve been working hard in practice, but it’s just
not working.”

Despite being badly outshot at the time, Buffalo opened the
scoring with 2:07 remaining in the first period on the man
advantage. After Spacek’s shot failed to get through the
traffic in front of the net, Roy unleashed a backhander past

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Roy doubled the Sabres’ advantage at 2:59 of the middle session,
taking a centering pass from Daniel Paille in the slot and
beating Price with a one-timer for his 24th goal of the season.

Spacek made it 3-0 at 9:07 of the second after forcing a
turnover at center ice, deking blue-liner Roman Hamrlik and
blasting a slap shot past Price on the glove side. Gaustad
added a power-play and shorthanded goal in the final session to
provide a five-goal bulge.

“Everybody steeped up. It was a big win,” Spacek said. “We had
a couple of days to rest and we jumped them. We started out a
little bit slow in the beginning but after the first goal, I
think we took over and played a great game.”

Lalime’s shutout bid was ended with 66 ticks to play on Tomas
Plekanec’s goal. Lalime still collected his first home win
since joining Buffalo this offseason and his first victory
overall in this calendar year.

“I’m feeling good out there,” Lalime said. “I made some saves
and I thought we responded well. Big goal at the end of the
period and the power play, penalty kill – I thought we played
our game.”

“He’s been playing great behind us these last three games,”
Gaustad said of Lalime. “We just haven’t played well in front
of him. I felt bad for him, he’s been playing great for us.”

Thomas Vanek, who leads the Sabres with 32 goals this season,
returned to the lineup after missing the previous nine games
with a fractured jaw.