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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, March 24th (All times eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (40-26-7-3) at Buffalo Sabres (33-32-6-4), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens continue their quest for a higher playoff seed tonight when they visit the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena.

With 90 points, the Habs are seventh in the Eastern Conference -- two behind New Jersey. Montreal is three back of fifth-place Ottawa and four off of No. 4 Toronto in the standings.

On Saturday, Michael Ryder recorded a goal and an assist to lead the Canadiens to a 3-2 win over the Devils at the Bell Centre. Jim Dowd and Alexei Kovalev also scored for the Canadiens, who are 6-0-1-1 in their last eight games. Jan Bulis added two assists in the win.

Kovalev tallied his first goal in six games since coming over from the New York Rangers via trade earlier in the month.

Jose Theodore turned aside 33 shots for his 32nd victory of the season. He has won his last five starts, and 10 of his last 11.

Defenseman Sheldon Souray played his second game after missing 17 contests with a sprained left knee. Souray, who represented the team in the All-Star Game, was among the league scoring leaders among defenseman before going down, as he has 15 goals and 20 assists in 59 games.

Montreal earned three out of a possible four points in the home-and-home with the Devils after Friday's 1-1 tie.

The Canadiens, 3-0-1 in their last four away tilts, will host Ottawa on Thursday.

Buffalo, meanwhile, is six points behind the NY Islanders for the eighth and final playoff spot with seven games remaining for both clubs.

On Saturday, Miroslav Satan and Derek Roy each scored to lead the Sabres over Florida, 2-1, at the Office Depot Center. Satan has 24 points in his last 21 games.

Martin Biron stopped 23 shots for the Sabres, who had lost four of their previous five games (1-1-0-3).

The Sabres, who have dropped their last three on friendly ice, will host Pittsburgh on Friday to begin a home-and-home.

Buffalo and Montreal have split four meetings this season, with each club winning twice in its own rink. The Canadiens have lost in six straight trips to HSBC Arena.

03/24 10:14:10 ET

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