Buffalo at Montreal

Venue: Bell Centre
  •  

After coming up short against one of the NHL's top goalies, the Montreal Canadiens will have to deal with one of the league's leading scorers.

The Canadiens will try to bounce back from their first loss in five games Saturday when they host a Buffalo Sabres team looking for its sixth straight win in Montreal.

The Canadiens were riding high during a four-game winning streak before Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson denied them their first five-game run in nearly two years in a 5-1 loss Wednesday.

Montreal (4-2-0) scored four goals in each game of the streak but couldn't do it again despite getting off 32 shots. Anderson, though, has been tough on everyone, leading the NHL with a 0.99 goals-against average.

Now Montreal takes on a much different challenge as it tries to contain Buffalo's Thomas Vanek, who had his second five-point game of the season with three goals and two assists in a 7-4 victory at Boston on Thursday.

The left wing has six goals and nine assists, but he's scored one goal in his last 21 games against the Canadiens.

"Pucks are going in right now for me," Vanek said. "There's going to be stretches where nothing goes. So you like it right now, but you know it's going to head the other way."

After winning its first two games, Buffalo lost four straight before beating the Bruins, who entered 5-0-1.

Right wing Jason Pominville has also enjoyed a fast start with five goals and 12 points, including a goal and two assists Thursday.

Montreal's Carey Price, who has won four straight starts, will try to slow Buffalo (3-3-1) after sitting out at Ottawa. Price has a 1-4-2 record in his last seven home games against the Sabres despite a 1.55 GAA.

Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov may also play a key role after notching eight points in his last five games - all on the power play. Markov had his fourth assist Wednesday, setting up Tomas Plekanec's fourth goal in five games.

Fellow defenseman Raphael Diaz ranks among the league leaders with eight assists.

Montreal, however, went 1 for 6 on the power play against the Senators after converting 8 of 27 in its first five games.

"Special teams are key if you want to win hockey games," coach Michel Therrien said.

The Canadiens may have a tough time getting back on track in that area against the Sabres, who have killed eight of nine penalties over their last three games.

Buffalo's Ryan Miller allowed five goals in his first three games but has given up 11 in his last three. Miller, though, is 6-0-1 in his last seven starts against the Canadiens, including three straight wins with a 0.67 GAA in Montreal.

He had 34 saves in a 3-0 home win March 21 that gave the Sabres an 8-0-1 record in the last nine meetings between the Northeast Division rivals.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Buffalo 115 Montreal -135
Standings
Team Standings W L OT Pts L 10
BuffaloAtlantic 215110521-7-2
Montreal3rd Atlantic 462881007-2-1

CBSSports.com Shop

Los Angeles Kings Majestic 2014 Stanley Cup Champions Magic Moment Official Locker Room T-Shirt

Los Angeles Kings 2014 Stanley Cup Champs
Get the Locker Room Gear
Shop Now

Injuries
Buffalo
PlayerInjury
M NeuvirthHip
 
Montreal
PlayerInjury
D WeiseConcussion
 
 
 
 
Series Game Log
DateLocationResults
Oct 8 @ Toronto 
Feb 14Montreal 
Feb 28Montreal 
Apr 11 @ Toronto 
Other Games
Nash 2 Final
SJ 1
NJ 1 Final
Pitt 5
Edm 1 Final
Colo 3
Det 2 Final
Colu 4
Bos 1 Final
Tor 0
NYR 3 Final
TB 2
Car 3 Final
Phi 5
Dal 0 Final
Pho 2
Chi 3 Final
Cal 2
LA 4 Final
Ana 7