Buffalo Sabres\' Thomas Vanek (26) checks Montreal Canadiens\' Nathan Beaulieu during third period pre-season NHL hockey action in Montreal, Wednesday, Sept., 21, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
MONTREAL - Christian Ehrhoff is already impressing his new coach with his deadly shot.
The former Vancouver defenceman scored in the third period after assisting on Jason Pominville's goal in the first to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens in pre-season action on Wednesday night.
Ehrhoff, who signed a US$40 million, 10-year deal with Buffalo after being traded to the Sabres prior to the free-agent period, snapped a shot past Robert Mayer 6:07 into the third to restore the Sabres' one-goal lead.
"He's got a really good shot," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "I thought probably again tonight there were some opportunities we passed up, we passed some plays around, but you don't usually have to tell him to shoot. He's a shooter and he can sling it with a wrist shot and he can hit it pretty hard with a slap shot."
Pominville opened the scoring 15:31 in when he steered Ehrhoff's centring pass beyond Montreal starter Peter Budaj.
Tyler Ennis scored into an empty net with 2.2 seconds remaining.
P.K. Subban scored a power-play goal late in the second for the Canadiens, who lost for a second night in a row. Nathan Beaulieu, Montreal's first-round pick in the June draft, drew an assist on the goal with a cross-ice pass to Subban.
"He's smart with the puck," Subban said. "He makes the right decisions and for a lot of guys that are just drafted it takes a year or two to get that, but he's getting it. So for him it's just a matter of experience and learning more and just getting stronger and bigger, but he looks pretty good out there."
Jhonas Enroth made 12 saves for his second straight win. Sabres starter Ryan Miller stopped all 11 shots he faced.
Max Pacioretty was given a big cheer on his first shift as he played his first game for the Canadiens since he suffered a broken neck vertebra on Mar. 8, the result of a controversial hit by Boston's Zdeno Chara.
"No big hits given or received but the bumps are I think what's really going to make my neck react so we'll see how it feels tomorrow," Pacioretty said.
Josh Gorges also returned to Montreal's lineup for the first time since he suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Veteran defenceman Robyn Regehr, acquired in a trade with Calgary, made his Sabres debut.
Canadiens prospect Hunter Bishop was injured with 4.4 seconds left in the second period. He lay on the ice after attempting to hit Buffalo's Zack Kassian along the boards and had to be helped off the ice.