MONTREAL -- With a 14-game losing streak, the Buffalo Sabres have it rough enough already. It only gets tougher facing the Montreal Canadiens and red-hot goalie Carey Price at Bell Centre on Tuesday.
Buffalo's 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Friday leaves it with the longest losing streak in the NHL since 2003. All of the losses are in regulation and the Sabres are three shy of matching the NHL record set by the expansion 1974-75 Washington Capitals and matched by the second-year San Jose Sharks in 1992-93.
Price was rested Sunday when Montreal ended a five-game winning streak with a 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes. The Canadiens goalie has not allowed a goal in 153:03, including a pair of 1-0 shutout wins at the New York Rangers on Thursday and against the Capitals on Saturday. He was named the NHL's First Star of the Week thanks to a 0.66 goals-against average and .980 save percentage in three starts, including a 40-save effort in a 3-2 win against the Dallas Stars on Jan. 27.
"Carey's a game-changer," Buffalo defenseman Josh Gorges said. "I haven't seen many of their games but I'm sure he's won a few games for these guys and he's got the ability to steal games when the team maybe isn't playing great in front of him."
Gorges will play his first game in Montreal since he was traded to the Sabres on July 1.
"It will be good to get out there for that first shift and get it out of the way, and then settle in and start playing the game," Gorges said.
Gorges faced his former team at home in Buffalo's 2-1 shootout loss to the Canadiens on Nov. 5, but was injured for the Sabres' 2-1 win against Montreal on Nov. 28 and a 4-3 shootout victory against the Canadiens at Bell Centre the following day.
In addition to going 2-0-1 against the Canadiens this season, Buffalo has won seven of its past 10 games in Montreal.
"I'm excited about the opportunity," Gorges said. "Things haven't been going well for us but we have a chance in this building and we should all be excited about playing in front of a crowd like this. It's always fun to play here so we should use that energy and try to get a win and change the tides a little bit for us."
Swedish forward Jacob De La Rose will make his NHL debut for Montreal. De La Rose, who was recalled from Hamilton of the American Hockey League on Monday, has six goals and five assists in 37 games.
"Of course there was an adjustment for me coming over here, playing on the small ice and a North American type of game, but I think it's going better and better," De La Rose said after the Canadiens' morning skate at their suburban practice facility. "I'm happy with my development so far."
De La Rose's game has picked up since he played for Sweden at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto. He has three goals and three assists in 10 games since representing his country in Toronto after scoring five points in his first 27 AHL games.
"I just think I'm playing with more confidence," De La Rose said. "I had a good tournament and I came back with Hamilton with good confidence. I was trying to make more plays and create more scoring chances."
Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said center Lars Eller is a game-time decision. Eller left in the second period Sunday after he was cross-checked in the back.
Here are the projected lineups:
Chris Stewart - Zemgus Girgensons - Tyler Ennis
Matt Moulson- Torrey Mitchell - Brian Gionta
Cody Hodgson - Brian Flynn - Drew Stafford
Nicolas Deslauriers - Matt Ellis - Patrick Kaleta
Josh Gorges - Tyler Myers
Nikita Zadorov - Rasmus Ristolainen
Mike Weber - Tyson Strachan
Scratched: Andrej Meszaros, Andre Benoit
Injured: Michal Neuvirth (lower body), Cody McCormick (leg), Marcus Foligno (hand)
Max Pacioretty – Tomas Plekanec – Dale Weise
Alex Galchenyuk – David Desharnais – Brendan Gallagher
Jacob De La Rose – Lars Eller – Jiri Sekac
Brandon Prust – Gabriel Dumont – Christian Thomas
Andrei Markov – P.K. Subban
Nathan Beaulieu – Sergei Gonchar
Alexei Emelin – Tom Gilbert
Scratched: Manny Malhotra, Michael Bournival, Mike Weaver
Injured: Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (concussion)
Status report: Hodgson returns after he was a healthy scratch against his former team Friday. Parenteau skated on his own for about 30 minutes, doing light drills. If Eller can't play, Bournival would likely take his place.
Who's hot: Stewart has four goals and two assists in his past five games. Girgensons has an assist in each of his past two games. ... Price is 13-2-1 with a 1.43 GAA and .953 save percentage in his past 16 starts.