MONTREAL — The Buffalo Sabres ended an eight-game losing streak with a 7-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Tuesday.
Jeff Skinner had two goals and three assists, and Tage Thompson had a goal and three assists for the Sabres (8-11-0), who scored three times in the first 2:13 of the game. Craig Anderson made 29 saves.
“We were fortunate to get a couple early and then we settled in there,” Skinner said. “[Anderson] played really well. He made some good saves after that, weathered the storm, and we were able to build the game from there.”
Buffalo, which lost eight straight in regulation and hadn’t won since Nov. 2, will host the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.
“We came out with a mission,” Sabres forward Alex Tuch said. “I thought we went hard to the net from the drop of the puck. We were getting pucks deep and playing simple. We had a lot of conversations, [Anderson’s] been talking about it a lot, and it’s playing on the [defensive] side, and I thought everyone did that tonight.”
Cole Caufield and Sean Monahan scored for the Canadiens (9-9-1), who visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday. Jake Allen made 31 saves.
“I think it was a bad game all around,” Montreal defenseman David Savard said. “We’ve got to move past it. And obviously we’ve got some stuff to learn, which is that bad start in the first period and it put us behind.
“And it’s a couple of games now and we’ve got to make sure we’re ready tomorrow to go and play our game. We’ve been in every game so far if we play our style and our system, and we didn’t do that tonight.”
The Sabres raced to a 3-0 lead on goals by Rasmus Dahlin, JJ Peterka and Tuch.
Dahlin put Buffalo up 1-0 when he scored 35 seconds in on a shot from the slot after Thompson spun around to set him up.
Peterka made it 2-0 at 52 seconds, jamming in a loose puck under Allen for the second-fastest two goals from the start of a game in Sabres history.
Tuch increased the lead to 3-0 with a power-play goal at 2:13 on a one-timer from the left face-off circle, Buffalo’s third goal in 1:38.
Caufield cut it to 3-1 at 2:57 on a one-timer from beyond the left circle, his fourth goal in five games.
Skinner put Buffalo up 4-1 at 11:21 of the second period before Monahan cut it to 4-2 at 13:57.
Henri Jokiharju made it 5-2 at 3:48 of the third, and Thompson scored at 6:39 to give the Sabres a 6-2 lead.
“Obviously you get one, you start to feel pretty good, and you get a couple more and things start just rolling,” Thompson said.
Skinner scored his second of the game on a power play at 14:26 for the 7-2 final.
“We played with purpose, played to our identity, and the emotion they put in the game was outstanding,” Buffalo coach Don Granato said.
Montreal went 0-for-6 on the power play.
“I don’t think we were sharp pretty much anywhere,” Caufield said. “We had a couple of chances on the power play to get back in the game and kind of let our team down, let the momentum get away from us. So, there’s things we can clean up and lucky enough we get to play tomorrow.”
NOTES: The Sabres scored the seventh-fastest three goals by one team from the start of a game in NHL history; the Washington Capitals set the record of 1:21 on Dec. 19, 1986, when David Jensen (:26), Greg Adams (:53), and Mike Gartner (1:21) each scored at the outset of a 6-4 loss at the New Jersey Devils. Buffalo is the first road team to score twice in the opening 52 seconds of a game since Oct. 26, 2002, when Justin Williams (:16) and Michal Handzus (:31) of the Philadelphia Flyers each scored in the first 31 seconds of a 6-2 win at the New York Islanders. … Skinner became the first player in NHL history to have five points as a visiting player twice in Montreal; he had four goals and one assist here last season on Feb. 13. … The goals by Dahlin and Peterka were the second-fastest two goals to start a game in Sabres history; Rick Martin scored twice in the first 49 seconds of a 5-2 win against the Minnesota North Stars on Dec. 18, 1975. … Dahlin, a defenseman, has 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in his past 10 games.
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