Habs, Plekanec Surpass Sabres

As Plekanec's hat trick, plus three more give Montreal a one point advantage over Ottawa in the Northeast
By Lev Weinstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2008 1:04 AM CST
Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price stops a shot by Buffalo Sabres' Thomas Vanek (26), of Austria, during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Buffalo, N.Y., Friday, Feb. 29, 2008. The Canadiens...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Though three was the important number for Tomas Plekanec last night, one is Montreal's magic number following a 6-2 pounding of Buffalo, the Montreal Gazette reports. Plekanec earned his first NHL hat trick, propelling the Habs to one point ahead of the reeling Senators in the Northeast Division, and one point behind the Devils for the Eastern Conference lead.

20-year-old phenom Carey Price, making his second start in goal after the Cristobal Huet trade, notched another win, stopping 31 of 33 shots. Huet himself was instrumental in helping Washington hand the Devils a defeat yesterday, setting up conference superiority as the prize in tonight's Devils-Canadiens showdown. Montreal's scoring was completed by efforts from both Kostitsyn brothers, and Mark Streit.