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Montréal
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Buffalo
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OT
30 SOG
39 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTT
MTL
BUF
game preview

Habs look to improve to 4-0 against Sabres

Tuesday, 01.18.2011 / 7:30 PM

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

CANADIENS (26-17-3) at SABRES (19-20-5)

TV: VERSUS, TSN, RDS.

Last 10: Montreal 6-3-1; Buffalo 5-4-1.

Season Series: This is the fourth of six meetings between the Northeast Division rivals. The Canadiens are 3-0 thus far against the Sabres, although this is the first time the teams are facing each other since Nov. 27.

Big Story: Ryan Miller has been one busy goaltender this season. The U.S. Olympian has started 21 consecutive games for the Sabres, the longest such streak since starting in a career-high 34 consecutive games in 2007-08.  Over the last 21 games, Miller is 11-8-2 with a 2.72 goals against average, a .915 save percentage and three shutouts.

"I've talked the schedule with Ryan," coach Lindy Ruff said. "I've got in mind what I need to do with this team and our goaltending. We're battling hard to get back in the picture, and it's desperate right now. It's hard on a lot of different people, not just our backup goalie (Patrick Lalime)."

Team Scope:

Canadiens: They nearly let it slip away, but the Habs escaped Monday night with a 5-4 overtime victory against the Calgary Flames at the Bell Centre. Montreal built a 4-0 lead, only to see it slip away as the Flames chased backup goalie Alex Auld.

"I was pumped," Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban said after tallying the game-winner in the extra session. "I was on for a couple of goals against, there were some bad plays, I jumped on the ice for the too many men call, I put our team in a bad position. But this is a game of highs and lows and I stuck with it."



Sabres: Buffalo was unable to make it two in a row on Saturday night, when it suffered a 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Sabres peppered Rick DiPietro with 43 shots, but the No. 1 pick from the 2000 Entry Draft enjoyed one of his better games. John Tavares, the No. 1 pick in 2009, recorded a natural hat trick.

"We gave them every opportunity to capitalize in the second," Miller said. "Tavares is a very tough kid."

Who's Hot: Habs forward Mike Cammalleri had a goal and an assist Monday night and has three points in his last two games, while Subban has a three-game point streak. … Sabres forward Thomas Vanek had four goals and six assists in his last seven games.

Injury Report: For the Canadiens, defensemen Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges are out with knee injuries. Benoit Pouliot missed Monday's game with the flu. … Sabres center Derek Roy is out, while right wing Patrick Kaleta (upper body) will be re-evaluated Tuesday.

Stat Pack: Habs defenseman James Wisniewski has two goals and seven assists in nine games since being acquired by the Islanders on Dec. 28.

Puck Drop: "I think that's what separates the top teams from us right now.  They play 60 minutes through and they don’t break down… we struggle at times doing that." -- Sabres forward Jochen Hecht
2010-2011 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 22 '11BUF 2 at MTL 0N. Gerbe
Feb 15 '11BUF 3 at MTL 2 - SOJ. Hecht
Jan 18 '11MTL 1 at BUF 2 - OTJ. Pominville
Nov 27 '10BUF 1 at MTL 3B. Gionta
Nov 05 '10MTL 3 at BUF 2B. Pouliot
Oct 15 '10MTL 2 at BUF 1J. Gorges
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
T. Plekanec46142236+73832
M. Cammalleri44131831+62952
J. Wisniewski4252631-192441
A. Kostitsyn46121325+91843
B. Gionta4715924-31234
S. Gomez4561723-92031
B. Pouliot4491120+42413
R. Hamrlik4441620-14220
J. Halpern4771219+52103
P. Subban4241317+05731
M. Darche417916+61020
J. Spacek4711415+62600
M. Lapierre38538-76300
T. Moen46358-36100
L. Eller43347-12801
M. Pacioretty17347-52301
J. Gorges36167-31811
A. Picard31336+1821
T. Pyatt39134-4200
H. Gill47044-53100
Y. Weber18044+1400
D. Desharnais8213-1010
A. Markov7123+2401
D. Boyd10101-6200
R. O'Byrne3000+0400
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Price4223-15-49712212.34.921
A. Auld73-2-0131762.20.926
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
T. Vanek45172037-121292
D. Roy35102535-11621
J. Leopold45101626-52230
J. Pominville3691524-9941
D. Stafford3015823-32263
T. Ennis45111223-71641
T. Connolly3361319-121221
J. Hecht4571017-82002
T. Myers4351217-151823
S. Montador4541014+116300
P. Gaustad4541014+56700
C. McCormick446713+39801
A. Sekera4411112-61400
M. Grier45279+11000
N. Gerbe28279+21200
P. Kaleta37448+17000
R. Niedermayer36088-31800
M. Weber24235+84200
L. Adam18314-41001
C. Rivet23123-51200
C. Butler21033-11000
S. Morrisonn31022-71600
M. Mancari3011-1000
M. Ellis6000-1000
C. Stuart3000+1200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
R. Miller3618-14-49510812.67.912
J. Enroth52-2-1131262.90.897
P. Lalime60-4-0161453.03.890