Buffalo Sabres' Alex Tuch (89) scores on Montreal Canadiens goaltender...

Buffalo Sabres' Alex Tuch (89) scores on Montreal Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault (35) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, in Montreal. Credit: AP/Christinne Muschi

MONTREAL — Alex Tuch scored short-handed to break a second-period tie in the Buffalo Sabres' 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadians on Wednesday night.

Zemgus Girgensons and Jeff Skinner also scored and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 29 saves to help the Sabres improve to 25-27-4.

“Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was on this game. I mean, he had to make several nice saves,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “Obviously, they made some nice plays, so you have to have a good goaltending performance if you’re gonna do that.”

Skinner has 27 goals against the Canadiens, the second-most among active players behind Alex Ovechkin (38).

“I thought our battle level was high through the start,” Granato said. “We had to weather a storm in segments, but the guys stayed with it — and the (Tage) Thompson, Tuch and Skinner line was very good.”

Arber Xhekaj and Jayden Struble scored for Montreal and Sam Montembeault made 20 saves. Montreal has lost three straight and five of six to fall to 22-26-8.

“They’re a good team. They got a lot of good players,” Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki said. “I think their spot in the standings doesn’t really say what kind of team they are.”

Buffalo Sabres' Jeff Skinner (53) scores on Montreal Canadiens goaltender...

Buffalo Sabres' Jeff Skinner (53) scores on Montreal Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault (35) as Canadiens' Joel Armia (40) defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, in Montreal. Credit: AP/Christinne Muschi

Tuch scored with 1:52 left in the second period after a Canadiens power play that included three turnovers by Cole Caufield.

Girgensons tied it at 1 at 4:20 of the second, deflecting a point shot from Henri Jokiharju past Montembeault while standing alone in front.

Struble put Montreal ahead at 6:35 with a wrist shot that deflected off Sabres forward Peyton Krebs and fooled Luukkonen. Skinner tied it at 9:28 on a power play.

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Montreal Canadiens' Kirby Dach (77) celebrates a goal by teammate...

Montreal Canadiens' Kirby Dach (77) celebrates a goal by teammate Arber Xhekaj (not shown) on Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (1) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024 in Montreal. Credit: AP/Christinne Muschi

Sabres: At Columbus on Friday night.

Canadiens: At Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

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