BUFFALO, NY (AP) Rookie goalie Dustin Tokarski stopped 29 shots to earn his first NHL shutout in the Montreal Canadiens’ 2-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday night.
Brendan Gallagher and Dale Weise scored for the Canadiens (37-25-7), who vaulted into second place in the Atlantic Division by jumping ahead of Toronto and Tampa Bay. Tokarski improved 2-0 this season and 3-3-1 for his career after being called up from AHL Hamilton earlier in the day.
Tokarski was filling in for starter Carey Price, who didn’t make the trip a day after stopping 30 shots in a 5-4 overtime win against the Senators in his first NHL start since Feb. 8.
Buffalo is also running out of healthy goalies after starter Jhonas Enroth left the game following a collision with Gallagher with 3:51 remaining in the second period. Gallagher was breaking up the left side and had just gotten a shot off when he was struck from behind by Buffalo defenseman Jamie McBain and tumbled directly into Enroth.
Enroth did not return after suffering what the Sabres announced to be a lower body injury.
Rookie Nathan Lieuwen was forced into action, stopping all 10 shots he faced in his NHL debut after being called up from AHL Rochester earlier in the day. The Sabres were already down a goalie with backup Michal Neuvirth sidelined with a lower body injury.
Canadiens coach Michel Therrien was wary of playing Price on consecutive nights after the goalie aggravated a lower body injury during Canada’s gold-medal run at the Sochi Games.
The league-worst Sabres (19-41-8) lost their sixth straight in regulation — their worst streak since losing seven in a row from Dec. 4-19, 2003.