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Friday, February 6th (All times eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (29-16-6) at Buffalo Sabres (27-20-5), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of Northeast Division rivals will meet tonight in Buffalo, as the Sabres prepare to do battle with the Montreal Canadiens at HSBC Arena.

The Canadiens and Sabres are currently running second and third, respectively, in the Northeast, although both clubs are way behind Boston and its division- leading 84 points. Montreal has 64 points on the year and the Sabres are five points behind.

Montreal has won two of its last three games, but prior to that had dropped its previous four games. The Canadiens were last in action on Tuesday when they completed a three-game homestand with a win over Pittsburgh.

Roman Hamrlik registered a goal and an assist, leading the Canadiens to a 4-2 win over the Penguins at the Bell Centre.

Christopher Higgins and Maxim Lapierre also scored for the Habs, while Carey Price made 23 saves to earn his 18th win of the season.

Beginning with tonight's test, Montreal is playing seven of its next eight games on the road. The Habs are 12-11-2 as the visiting team this season and have dropped four straight and five of their last six road games.

The Canadiens will host Toronto this Saturday before embarking on a season- high six-game road trip.

The Sabres have also won two of their last three games and are 10-5 since the start of 2009.

Buffalo recorded a dominating win over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday evening. Thomas Vanek recorded his first hat trick of the season and Ryan Miller posted a shutout as the Sabres routed Toronto, 5-0, at HSBC Arena.

Vanek is tied for second in the league with 32 goals on the year and ended a three-game goal-less streak with his fifth career hat trick.

Miller needed to make just 16 saves to record his second consecutive shutout, stretching his scoreless string to 126 minutes, 52 seconds after a goal late in the third period of a 5-2 loss at Calgary on January 28. Miller now has five shutouts this year and 12 in his career.

Tim Connolly and Drew Stafford also lit the lamp for the Sabres, who have won three of five overall.

Buffalo is 14-9-2 as the host this year and has won four straight and five of its last six home games.

The Canadiens have won two of three meetings with Buffalo this season and have taken five of the last six encounters between the clubs. However, Montreal has dropped four of its last six games at HSBC Arena.

02/06 10:27:18 ET


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