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NHL: Canadiens Beat Sabres

In National Hockey League action Tuesday, the Montreal Canadiens beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 for their fourth straight win.

Christopher Higgins scored twice for Montreal, which also got goals from Alex Kovalev, Maxim Lapierre and Francois Bouillon, while goalie Cristobal Huet made 42 saves. The Canadiens are now within five points of the Sabres, who are in first place in the Northeast Division.

Meanwhile, the New York Islanders posted a 4-3 win over their in-state rival New York Rangers. The Islanders's Jason Blake recorded the fourth hat-trick (three goals in one game) of his NHL career, giving him 19 goals for the young season. The Rangers, who were playing without a handful of starters, have now lost three straight games.

Tuesday's other winners in the NHL include Carolina, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Boston, Florida, Atlanta, Minnesota, Colorado and Calgary.

The Carolina Panthers beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1, as Philadelphia dropped its franchise-record seventh straight game. The St. Louis Blues downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 to end their 11-game losing streak. The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Washington Capitals 5-4.

Boston's Marco Sturm recorded a hat-trick to lead the Bruins to a 7-2 rout of the Ottawa Senators. Florida goalie Ed Belfour made 33 saves to help the Panthers trounce the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3. The Atlanta Thrashers downed the New Jersey Devils 4-3 in a shootout.

Branko Radivojevic scored twice to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The Colorado Avalanche downed the Edmonton Oilers 7-6, and the Calgary Flames beat the Los Angeles Kings 5-3.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.