NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, November 27th (All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (9-12-3) at Montreal Canadiens (14-8-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens will try to bounce back from a poor offensive performance when they host the rival Buffalo Sabres for a Northeast Division clash tonight at the Bell Centre.
The Canadiens, who lead the Northeast with 29 points, have lost two of their last three outings and were dealt a 3-0 loss Friday night in Atlanta. It was the second time Montreal has been blanked in the last five games and the Habs have managed a total of eight goals over that span.
Ondrej Pavelec made 25 stops to record his second shutout of the season for the Thrashers and Rich Peverley scored twice in the win.
Alex Auld stopped 44-of-47 shots in a hard-luck defeat for the Canadiens, who have lost three of five. Carey Price was given the night off after starting the previous 12 games, but is expected to be back between the pipes tonight.
Price is 7-4-3 with a 2.10 goals-against average in 14 career starts against the Sabres. He is 2-0 with a 1.50 GAA in two starts against Buffalo this season.
Montreal has won five of its last six on home ice and is 8-4-1 at the Bell Centre this year.
The Sabres are coming into tonight on a winning note, having posted a 3-1 decision against a visiting Toronto club on Friday night. Jordan Leopold and Thomas Vanek scored power-play goals as Buffalo ended a two-game losing streak and won for just the second time in five outings.
Ryan Miller returned to the lineup and made 35 saves in the win, allowing the only Toronto goal late in the third period when his own defender misplayed a loose puck.
"Any time you get your starting goaltender back it's a boost," said Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff. "We all know what he means to the team. We put a lot into what our goaltender can do for us in how we need to play and we if we have to change our style of play, it hurts us."
Patrick Kaleta added a shorthanded goal for the Sabres, who killed off all six Toronto power plays and beat the Maple Leafs for the sixth straight time at home.
Buffalo center Tim Connolly has missed the last two games with a groin injury and is questionable for tonight's tilt. Connolly has 11 goals and 16 assists in 39 career games against the Canadiens.
The Sabres have lost their last two on the road and are 5-4-2 as the visiting team this season. They will return to western New York to host Columbus on Friday before heading back out on a two-game trip.
Montreal has won three straight in this series, including both meetings this year. This is the first encounter of the season in Montreal, where the Sabres have lost four of their last seven contests.
Both matchups between the Habs and Sabres this year have been low-scoring affairs. Montreal posted a 2-1 win on Oct. 15 and notched a 3-2 victory on Nov. 5.
11/27 10:46:11 ET