Pa­cioretty’s hat trick lifts Habs over Sabres

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - KELSEY PATTERSON

MONTREAL — Max Pa­cioretty scored a hat trick as the Montreal Cana­di­ens beat the vis­it­ing Buf­falo Sabres 5-2 on Tues­day night in the first game back for both teams since the Na­tional Hockey League’s all­star break.

David De­shar­nais and Paul By­ron also scored for Montreal (3014-7), while Carey Price made 36 saves.

Alexan­der Radulov and Phillip Danault each had two as­sists.

Dmitry Ku­likov and Brian Gionta scored for Buf­falo (20-20-9) late in the third pe­riod. Robin Lehner stopped 30 of 35 shots.

Pa­cioretty scored once per pe­riod en route to his sec­ond hat trick of the sea­son.

His first of the night made it 1-0 at 17:27 of the first pe­riod. The Cana­di­ens cap­tain took a nifty back­hand saucer pass from Radulov and roofed the puck on Lehner, who tried a tra­di­tional stack-the-pads save but got nowhere near the shot.

Pa­cioretty added his sec­ond at 7:48 of the mid­dle frame, again cash­ing in a pass from Radulov from be­hind Lehner’s net.

With Montreal al­ready lead­ing 4-0 in the third pe­riod, Pa­cioretty got his stick on a loose puck in a fran­tic goal­mouth scram­ble. The goals were his team-lead­ing 22nd, 23rd and 24th of the sea­son.

Montreal is now 11-4-2 in its last 17 games ver­sus Buf­falo.

De­fence­man Nikita Nes­terov made his Cana­di­ens de­but af­ter be­ing traded from the Tampa Bay Light­ning last week.

An­drei Markov (lower-body in­jury) played his first game in six weeks. Markov and Nes­terov skated together on the third de­fen­sive pair­ing.

De­shar­nais was also back in the lineup af­ter miss­ing 24 games with a knee in­jury.

The Sabres and Cana­di­ens met less than two weeks ago, with Buf­falo leav­ing the Bell Cen­tre with a 3-2 come-from-be­hind over­time vic­tory.

But in Tues­day’s con­test the Cana­di­ens se­cured the lead in the first pe­riod and never gave it up.

LM OTERO, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Stars’ Devin Shore re­acts to scor­ing against Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Fred­erik An­der­sen, Tyler Bozak (42) and Jake Gar­diner (51) in Dallas on Tues­day night. Dallas won, 6-3. For com­plete cov­er­age, see thes­pec.com.

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