Unable to score

Pouliot, Lehner lead Sabres to 1-0 win over Red Wings

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Benoit Pouliot scored for the second straight game and Robin Lehner made 32 saves in a shutout as the Buffalo Sabres beat the struggling Detroit Red Wings 1-0 on Tuesday night.

Victor Antipin and Taylor Fedun each had an assist for Buffalo, which handed the Red Wings their fifth defeat in a row.

The win was the first at home for rookie coach Phil Housley and ended the Sabres’ three-game home losing streak. Buffalo won consecutive games for the first time this season and improved to 3-5-2.

Pouliot scored with 10:15 remaining in the second period when he took the rebound of Antipin’s shot and stuffed a wraparound behind goalie Jimmy Howard. Antipin’s assist was the first point of his career.

Pouliot also was a star in the Sabres’ 4-3 comeback win in overtime against Boston on Saturday night.

With just more than three minutes left in the second, Lehner denied Red Wings forward Martin Frk with a left pad save on a 2-on-1 chance. Lehner’s shutout was the Sabres’ first of the season and his first since last February when he stopped 37 shots against Ottawa.

Buffalo continued to struggle on the power play, going 0 for 4 to drop to 5-38 with the man advantage this season. Two of those power plays ended when the Sabres took penalties of their own.

Prior to Tuesday night, the Sabres had never beaten Howard in regulation. The veteran goalie still has never allowed more than two goals in regulation against the Sabres despite falling to 8-1-1 vs. Buffalo in his career.

NOTES: Detroit had three five-game losing streaks last season. … Sabres center Jordan Nolan played in his 300th NHL game. … Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons and defenseman Justin Falk both skated with the team for the first time since getting injured Oct. 5. Both are day to day, according to Housley. … Howard has permitted four goals in his last three games against the Sabres, including one-goal efforts in his past two trips to Buffalo. … Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin was held without a goal for the ninth straight game. He has just one goal this season after combining for 40 in the previous two seasons.

UP NEXT

Red Wings: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night in the second of a three-game road trip.

Sabres: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night.

Montreal 5,

Florida 1

MONTREAL — Shea Weber scored twice, helping the Montreal Canadiens end their seven-game skid with a 5-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty also scored for the Canadiens, who had not won since their season opener. Carey Price made 26 saves and Jonathan Drouin had two assists.

Keith Yandle scored the only goal for the Panthers, while James Reimer stopped 32 of 37 shots. Reimer got the start with Roberto Luongo still injured (right hand).

Montreal scored five goals for the first time this season. Their previous high was three. The team had scored a combined five goals on its winless California road trip (0-3-0) coming into Tuesday.

Back home, where Montreal was previously winless this season, sparked the team’s struggling offence.

Down 1-0, the Canadiens broke it wide open with three goals in 1:35 in the second period.

Galchenyuk got the first, on the power play, at 16:44. The 23-year-old, who played on the fourth line with Nikita Scherbak and Michael McCarron, drove hard to the net and cashed in Gallagher’s rebound.

With the Habs again on the power play a minute later, Weber made it 2-1 with a slap shot from atop the faceoff circle at 18:02, beating Reimer glove side.

Gallagher scored 17 seconds later as he skipped over a sprawled-out Aaron Ekblad and beat Reimer while falling to the ice.

Montreal outshot Florida 15-6 in the second period and 37-27 in the game.

Tampa Bay 5,

Carolina 1

RALEIGH, N.C. — The surging Tampa Bay Lightning kept their impressive streaks going — even if they needed all 60 minutes to do it.

The Lightning pulled away to beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 on Tuesday night, winning their third straight and earning at least a point in their eighth straight game.

Steven Stamkos had two assists, giving him league leads with 17 assists and 20 points, and Nikita Kucherov scored his 11th goal with 4 seconds left.

Both players have 10-game points streaks — one shy of Martin St. Louis’ 8-year-old club record to begin a season. And the third member of that line — Vladislav Namestnikov, who scored one of Tampa Bay’s two empty-net goals — has points in seven straight games.

“We want our goal-scorers to score goals, and (Kucherov), Stammer and (Namestnikov) have some great chemistry to start off the year,” defenseman Victor Hedman said.

Tyler Johnson had a power-play goal and an assist, rookie Mikhail Sergachev also scored and Ryan Callahan added an empty-net goal for the Lightning, who scored three goals in the final 2:33 to turn a tight game into a blowout.

Tampa Bay padded its league leads with eight victories and 17 points, and improved to 7-0-1 in its last eight games.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 30 shots for Tampa Bay while extending yet another streak, winning his seventh straight start. He leads the NHL with eight victories.

“We knew this was going to be a close game — obviously, 5-1 wasn’t very indicative, it was a 2-1 game,” Stamkos said. “We knew it was going to be tight checking, and (Vasilevskiy) played great. If you ask anyone in this room, he’s one of the best in the world. We’re happy he’s on our team, and he’s a big reason why we’ve started the way we have.”

Jaccob Slavin scored and Scott Darling made 24 saves for the Hurricanes, playing their first home game in two weeks. Carolina was scoreless on four power-play chances.

“We can definitely get a better killer instinct for putting the puck in the net,” co-captain Jordan Staal said. “I thought our (power play) could have really been a difference-maker tonight. … That’s got to be rolling a little better if you want to win games.”

Slavin pulled Carolina to 2-1 with 16:32 remaining, beating Vasilevskiy with a wrist shot from between the circles to finish a chaotic sequence that included a pileup in front of the Tampa Bay goal.

Vasileskiy was strong after that, with his best save coming midway through the third period when he went low to stop Derek Ryan from point-blank range. Namestnikov restored the Lightning’s two-goal lead with 2:33 left and Callahan added one with 1:20 remaining.

Sergachev, a rookie skating in his 10th career game, put the Lightning up 2-0 at 9:13 of the second period with a knuckleballing shot from the circle that capped a furious sequence in front of Darling. All four of Sergachev’s goals have come in his last three games.

Johnson scored first for Tampa Bay with 35 seconds left in the first period and with 5 seconds left on a holding penalty to Justin Williams. Johnson whacked in the rebound of Ondrej Palat’s shot into an open net.

NOTES: Carolina C Elias Lindholm skated in his 300th career game. … Johnson nearly had a Gordie Howe hat trick. He scuffled with Williams late in the second period while Hedman received a roughing minor. … Carolina’s Sebastian Aho rang the left post on an early third period power play.

Pittsburgh 2,

Edmonton 1

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Phil Kessel found a way to upstage Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid.

The Pittsburgh forward raced down the slot and beat goalie Cam Talbot 42 seconds into overtime to give the Penguins a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.

Ian Cole scored his first goal of the season for the Penguins, and Matt Murray stopped 29 shots. Crosby was held without a point in his showdown with McDavid, but the Penguins rode their depth to keep the struggling Oilers in check.

McDavid forced the extra period with his first goal in seven games, a wrist shot with 2:53 left in regulation that tied it. Talbot played brilliantly at times while making 42 saves but couldn’t get a handle on Kessel’s winner.

The central figures in the biannual meeting between the best players of their respective generations tried to downplay the hype. Probably a good idea. For all the star wattage Crosby and McDavid bring, their respective teams have spent the opening weeks of the season trying to figure things out.

Edmonton is trying to build off the franchise’s first playoff appearance in 11 years but came in as the lowest-scoring team in the Western Conference, averaging all of two goals a game.

The Penguins have been wildly erratic as they eye becoming the first team in 35 years to win three straight Stanley Cups. The first three weeks included a 10-1 loss to Chicago and a 7-1 thrashing at the hands of Tampa Bay, performances that cost backup goalie Antti Niemi his job. The Penguins waived him on Monday and called up rookie Casey DeSmith to serve as Murray’s understudy. Pittsburgh also acquired Riley Sheahan from Detroit and tasked him with anchoring the third line in the same way Nick Bonino did so effectively before signing with Nashville over the summer.

There was a definitive buzz — at least what passes for buzz in October — as Crosby and McDavid skated to center ice for the opening faceoff. But both players, and just about everyone else, spent most of the night being stoned by the goalies.

Talbot stuck out his left pad to stuff Kessel on a wide-open backhand early in the second to keep the game scoreless. Murray put together a dazzling sequence later in the period, sticking his paddle out to knock Mark Letestu’s shot out of harm’s way. The sequence ended with Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin scrambling to the goalmouth to knock away a flip to the open net by McDavid.

Cole, wearing a full shield for extra protection after losing several teeth when he blocked a shot with them earlier this month, beat Talbot with a wrist shot that zipped by Talbot’s blocker 3:24 into the third. Sheahan picked up the secondary assist for his first career point for someone other than the Red Wings.

It appeared that might be enough until McDavid, at the end of a long shift, found one last burst. He extended to catch up with a pass and fired a wrist shot from the left circle over Murray’s glove.