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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, October 18th (All times Eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (3-1-0) at Montreal Canadiens (1-2-1), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens will try to salvage the finale of a three-game homestand this evening, when they host the rival Buffalo Sabres for a Northeast Division clash at the Bell Centre.

Montreal has dropped three of four games to start the season and is 0-1-1 so far on its first homestand of the year. The Habs were dealt a 4-1 loss by Calgary on Thursday and then lost a 6-5 shootout decision to Colorado on Saturday.

Buffalo, meanwhile, began the year with two wins in Europe and has split its two games back in North America. The Sabres dropped their home opener to Carolina on Friday, but rebounded the following night with a win in Pittsburgh.

The Canadiens held a 5-4 lead in the third period of Saturday's game, but they couldn't hold onto that edge and wound up losing in the shootout phase. Milan Hejduk scored the game-winner in the first round of the shootout for the Avalanche.

"We let one get away," Montreal captain Brian Gionta said. "We've had our ups and downs through each game, that's been our story."

Gionta had a goal and two assists for the Canadiens, who have lost two in a row since posting their only win of the season -- a 5-1 road triumph over the Winnipeg Jets.

Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais had a goal and an assist apiece in Saturday's loss, while Carey Price stopped 25-of-30 shots in defeat.

Price has struggled in starting all four games for Montreal, allowing 12 goals on 100 shots so far this season.

"Today I mostly worked on some stick positioning and my five-hole because obviously there have been a few goals that have gone through my legs. Hopefully focusing on minor details like that will pay off tomorrow," Price told his team's official website on Monday.

The Sabres won for the third time in four games this year by edging the Penguins on Saturday. Nathan Gerbe scored the game's first goal and also set up Drew Stafford's decisive goal in the third period, as Buffalo beat the Penguins, 3-2.

Jhonas Enroth made 30 saves for Buffalo in his first start of the year, but No. 1 netminder Ryan Miller is expected to be back in net tonight.

Sabres forward Jochen Hecht has missed the first four games of the year and is doubtful for this evening's test as well. Hecht, who is suffering from a concussion, has 12 goals and 17 assists in 67 games for Buffalo last season.

Montreal and the Sabres split six meetings in 2010-11, but Buffalo won the last three encounters, which included a pair of clashes at the Bell Centre. The Sabres have taken seven of 11 overall in this series and have five victories in their last seven trips to Montreal.

10/18 10:31:49 ET


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