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game preview

Sabres at Canadiens preview

Drouin, Weber back in Montreal lineup; Buffalo looks for Eichel to ignite offense

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

SABRES (5-9-2) at CANADIENS (7-9-1)

7 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports, MSG-B, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Montreal Canadiens center Jonathan Drouin and defenseman Shea Weber each are expected to return from an injury to face the Buffalo Sabres at Bell Centre on Saturday.

Drouin (upper body) and Weber (lower body) missed Montreal's 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. The Canadiens are 3-1-0 in their past four games and 5-2-0 in their past seven after a 2-7-1 start.

The Sabres are playing on consecutive nights for the fourth time this season; they're 2-1-0 in the second of back-to-back games. Despite a 4-1 home loss to the Florida Panthers on Friday, Buffalo is 4-3-0 in its past seven games after beginning the season 1-5-2. 

 

Players to watch

Sabres center Jack Eichel has three assists in his past seven games after having 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his first nine games.

Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past seven games.

 

They said it

"We are where we are for a reason, and we've got to realize it and try to get better every day. It's been a lot of learning experiences this year. I'm sick of learning experiences, it's not fun. We've got to be better on a nightly basis." -- Sabres forward Kyle Okposo

"They play a really hard game, they've got skill, so they're a pretty dangerous team. I think they can beat anybody on any given night, so if you're not ready to go against them, they'll make you pay for sure." -- Canadiens forward Paul Byron on the Sabres

 

Sabres projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Jack Eichel -- Jason Pominville

Benoit Pouliot -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Kyle Okposo

Seth Griffin -- Sam Reinhart -- Nicholas Baptiste

Jordan Nolan -- Johan Larsson -- Zemgus Girgensons

Marco Scandella -- Justin Falk

Jake McCabe -- Taylor Fedun

Nathan Beaulieu -- Victor Antipin

Chad Johnson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Matt Moulson

Injured: Matt Tennyson (ankle), Rasmus Ristolainen (upper body), Justin Bailey (lower body), Josh Gorges (lower body), Jacob Josefson (lower body), Zach Bogosian (lower body), Evan Rodrigues (hand)  

 
Canadiens projected lineup

Alex Galchenyuk -- Jonathan Drouin -- Artturi Lehkonen

Max Pacioretty -- Phillip Danault -- Andrew Shaw

Paul Byron -- Tomas Plekanec -- Brendan Gallagher

Charles Hudon -- Jacob De La Rose -- Byron Froese

Jordie Benn -- Shea Weber

Karl Alzner -- Jeff Petry

Victor Mete -- Joe Morrow

Charlie Lindgren

Zach Fucale

Scratched: Brandon Davidson, Torrey Mitchell

Injured: Carey Price (lower body), Al Montoya (upper body), Nikita Scherbak (knee), David Schlemko (hand), Ales Hemsky (concussion-like symptoms)

 

Status report

Pouliot's hearing with NHL Player Safety determined he did not target Florida defenseman Keith Yandle's head on an illegal check Friday. ... Price practiced with goalie coach Stephane Waite before the morning skate. He was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 3. Fucale was recalled Friday. Montoya has not played since Nov. 4, though he has backed up Lindgren in each of the past three games.

 

Stat pack

Pominville has nine points (seven goals, two assists) in his past eight games against Montreal. ... Lindgren, who will make his fourth straight start, is 2-1-0 with one shutout, a 1.35 goals-against-average and a .961 save percentage.

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