MONTREAL - Here are five things you need to know ahead of Thursday night's game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre.
1. After picking up two out of a possible four points on their New York road trip, the Canadiens return home to battle their Atlantic Division rivals. Claude Julien's contingent is coming off a tough loss at the hands of the Rangers on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. Up 3-1, the Habs allowed the Blueshirts to score four unanswered goals en route to a 5-3 win in Manhattan. On the bright side, Max Domi extended his goal-scoring streak to four straight games with his ninth goal of the season, tying Brendan Gallagher for the team lead in that department. Domi also leads the Canadiens with 16 points through 15 games. For his part, Tomas Tatar scored twice in the loss, snapping a lengthy goal drought. This marks the second meeting of the year between the Canadiens and the Sabres. Back on October 25, Buffalo staged a third-period comeback to down Montreal by a score of 4-3 at the KeyBank Center.
Video: MTL@NYR: Domi roofs backhand on power play
2. Joel Armia suffered a lower-body injury during the second period of Tuesday night's contest and did not return for the third. The Finnish forward was not on the ice for Thursday's morning skate and Julien indicated that the team is awaiting results of his MRI. Likewise, Julien indicated that Paul Byron will be re-evaluated from week to week. He was added to the injured reserve list after missing the last four games with a lower-body injury of his own. On Wednesday afternoon, the Canadiens recalled forward Kenny Agostino from the AHL's Laval Rocket. Agostino has four goals and 10 points in 12 games with the Rocket during the 2018-19 campaign. He skated on a line with Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Artturi Lehkonen on Thursday morning. One change to note for the tilt against the Sabres is that Karl Alzner will play in place of Noah Juulsen.
3. The Canadiens still haven't dropped back-to-back games so far this season, and they'll be looking to keep that streak intact on Thursday night. No doubt lessons learned in Manhattan will be on their minds should they get off to a strong start and take control of the game early. "We've got to keep playing the same whether we have the lead or not. We can't play back on our heels and hope not to get scored on," said defenseman Xavier Ouellet, following the loss to the Rangers. "We've got to keep charging. We've got to go get the next goal and keep playing with the same intensity."
4. The Sabres, meanwhile, haven't played since Sunday when they fell to the Rangers by a score of 3-1 in the Big Apple. Former Habs defenseman Nathan Beaulieu will make his return to the Sabres' lineup on Thursday night, suiting up for the first time since October 30. He skated alongside Swedish phenom Rasmus Dahlin at practice on Wednesday. Captain Jack Eichel currently leads the Sabres with 17 points (4g - 13a), while Jeff Skinner sits second with 16 points (9g - 7a) and Jason Pominville ranks third with 14 points (8g - 6a).
5. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. You can watch the game on TSN2 and RDS, and listen to all the action on TSN Radio 690 and 98,5 fm. If you're coming to the Bell Centre on Thursday night, you'll enjoy the musical offerings of DJ Scratch, who will be keeping the tunes rolling as part of the DJ Series presented by Virgin Radio. To purchase tickets, click here.