Ryan Miller, Sabres Shut Out Canadiens 1-0


MONTREAL — Ryan Miller posted his fifth shutout of the season and Tim Connolly scored the lone goal as the Buffalo Sabres extended their winning streak to four with a 1-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday.

Miller turned aside 30 shots — including Mike Cammalleri's one-timer with just over 12 seconds remaining — for his second straight win since being chosen for the U.S. Olympic team on Friday. It was his 17th shutout in 299 NHL regular-season games.

Connolly scored his fourth goal in four games in the second period for Buffalo, which extended its Northeast Division lead to seven points over Boston. The Sabres, 3-0-1 against Montreal this season, have won 14 of 20 games (14-4-2) since Nov. 27.

The Canadiens, back in Montreal for the first time since returning from a 6-1 road trip, lost their fourth straight at home.

Carey Price, who started over Jaroslav Halak, made 29 saves. Halak, the NHL's top star last week, had won five of six starts, including a 5-4 victory at Florida on Wednesday.

Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov had a seven-game point streak snapped in his first home game since March 31.

Markov, who missed the last four games of the 2008-09 season and the playoffs because of a knee injury, had three goals and eight assists during his streak.

The Russian defenseman recorded at least one point in every game since returning to the lineup after missing 35 games while recovering from a sliced tendon on the front of his left foot sustained in Montreal's season opener.

Canadiens defenseman Paul Mara returned to the lineup after missing five games because of a left hand injury.

Benoit Pouliot made his home debut for the Canadiens and had some of Montreal's best scoring chances, including a goal-mouth deflection on Brian Gionta's pass with just over 5 minutes remaining.

Miller (23-8-3) made a huge glove save on Tomas Plekanec's backhand shot during a power play in the first. He kept the game scoreless in the second when he stuck out his left pad to deny Pouliot's chance after the winger was left alone in the slot.

Connolly scored 6:56 into the second. He tapped in a loose puck from the crease for his 11th of the season after his redirection of Jason Pominville's centering pass from the left side struck the left post.

Sabres RW Patrick Kaleta missed his third straight game because of a leg injury. Defensemen Nathan Paetsch and Andrej Sekera were healthy scratches. … Buffalo is 13-1-4 in one-goal games. … Canadiens LW Andrei Kostitsyn was out of the Canadiens' lineup because of an undisclosed injury sustained Wednesday. His brother, Sergei, missed his second straight game due to a lower-body injury. … Montreal D Ryan O'Byrne missed the game for personal reasons. … Halak was the Canadiens' player of the month for December.

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