Season Series: This is the first of six meetings between the Northeast Division rivals. Each squad won three times in 2010-11, with the Sabres taking the most recent showdown, a 2-0 decision on March 22 at the Bell Centre.
Big Story: Four games into their season, the Canadiens are struggling to find their best hockey. Montreal particularly had some miscues in its own end of the ice Saturday night, when it dropped a 6-5 shootout decision to the Colorado Avalanche at the Bell Centre. The Habs will try to avoid a third straight loss on Tuesday night.
"A little humble pie is good every once in a while," Canadiens goalie Carey Price said. "So you just eat your pie and carry on. Mistakes are going to be made out there. It's inevitable. But as long as you make sure you bounce back, understand why you're making the mistakes and learn from them, that's the most important thing."
Sabres: Buffalo bounced back from Friday's 4-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes with a 3-2 win at Pittsburgh just 24 hours later. Nathan Gerbe and Luke Adam each had a goal and an assist and Jhonas Enroth made 29 saves as the Sabres beat the Penguins for the first time in nearly two years.
"We wanted to win this game bad," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "You get an opportunity to play a team without a couple of their star players, you've got to start taking advantage of it."
Canadiens: Perhaps the most frustrating part of Saturday's loss to the Avs was the fact that the Habs were ahead late in the third period, as Brian Gionta and David Desharnais scored goals just 20 seconds apart in the third to give Montreal a 5-4 lead at 13:17. But Kyle Quincey scored on the power play at 15:57 to extend the game past regulation.
"They're a good young team and what they do well is they pressure the puck all over the ice," said Gionta, who also had two assists. "They've got back pressure, good forecheck, and you don't have the time to make the plays so you've got to make them quick. When we did that we had success. When we didn't, when we slowed things down and lost that support, that's when we got in trouble."
Who's Hot: Thomas Vanek (3 goals, 4 assists) and Luke Adam (3 goals, 3 assists) are off to tremendous starts for the Sabres. … Montreal's Tomas Plekanec (2 goals, 2 assists) and Max Pacioretty (2 goals, 2 assists) are averaging a point per game.
Stat Pack: Buffalo has already played two sets of back-to-back games. They have a League-high 21 this season. … Montreal did manage a power-play goal against Colorado on Saturday night, but the Habs are just 2-for-16 with the man advantage this season.
Puck Drop: "It was a roller coaster. I thought the guys played well and deserved better. It was a tough one for me tonight, obviously, with five goals. I wish I would have played better but at least we got a point out of it. We can move forward with that, I guess." -- Canadiens goalie Carey Price after Saturday's 6-5 shootout loss to Colorado