NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, October 15th (All times eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (1-1-1) at Buffalo Sabres (1-2-1), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Set to close out a four-game homestand this evening, the Buffalo Sabres will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of their first home game in the NHL.
What better way to celebrate than with their first home victory of 2010-11.
The Sabres go for that elusive win on Friday at HSBC Arena against a Montreal Canadiens team that has dropped two of three to start the season.
Buffalo opened up its campaign with a a victory in Ottawa last Friday. However, it has now dropped its first three home games to start a season for the first time since 1993-94, though the club picked up its first point at HSBC Arena this year with Wednesday's 1-0 overtime setback to New Jersey.
Ryan Miller kept his team in the game with 34 saves, but he yielded the game's only goal to the Devils' Ilya Kovalchuk 53 seconds into overtime.
"We did a lot of good things in the game, but we made enough mistakes to lose the game," Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff said. "We had chances to put it away."
Buffalo was outshot 15-1 in the first period and played without Jason Pominville, whose consecutive games played streak ended at 336 after he suffered a concussion following a hit from behind into the boards on Monday by Chicago's Niklas Hjalmarsson. Hjalmarsson received a two-game suspension for the hit.
The Sabres then lost blueliner Shaone Morrisonn to a groin injury on Wednesday and he won't play tonight. He is also doubtful for Saturday's road rematch with the Blackhawks.
The Canadiens are also coming off an overtime setback as they dropped a 4-3 decision to the Lightning on Wednesday. Carey Price was peppered with 47 shots and stopped 43 of them, but he did give up the game-winner with 51 seconds left in OT.
"I thought he made some big saves again and when you look at the game, we're leading 3-2, actually even 2-1, and we didn't get the puck out of our zone," said Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin. "We should have had the puck out, a couple of mistakes but he sure made some big saves."
Andrei Kostitsyn, Tomas Plekanec and Maxim Lapierre lit the lamp for the Canadiens, who went 0-for-3 on the power play and have yet to score on their first nine chances on the man advantage this season.
Montreal will look to get its power-play unit going in Buffalo, where it has lost two straight and five of its last six. The Sabres won four of the six meetings in 2009-10 and have claimed victory in seven of the last nine overall in this series.
Miller has won six of his last eight starts (6-1-1) versus Montreal and is 17-6-5 with a 2.45 goals-against average against the club lifetime.
Price, meanwhile, is 5-4-3 with a 2.20 GAA in his career when facing the Sabres.
10/15 10:54:01 ET