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Canadiens at Sabres preview

Kinkaid to make Montreal debut; Buffalo eyes point in fourth straight game to open season

by Heather Engel / Independent Correspondent

CANADIENS (1-0-1) at SABRES (2-0-1)

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


The Game

Keith Kinkaid will make his first start for the Montreal Canadiens when they visit the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Wednesday.

Kinkaid was 15-18-6 with a 3.36 goals-against average and .891 save percentage in 41 games (38 starts) with the New Jersey Devils last season. He was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Feb. 25 but did not appear in a game for them and signed a one-year contract with the Canadiens on July 1.

Montreal is looking for its second straight win after rallying for a 6-5 victory at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

The Sabres, who lost 4-3 in overtime at the Blue Jackets on Monday, can earn points in four straight games to open a season for the first time since they began the 2009-10 season 4-0-1. Buffalo will be without forward Conor Sheary, who is out week to week because of an upper-body injury.


Players to watch

Canadiens forward Max Domi has 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 10 games against the Sabres.

Sabres forward Jeff Skinner has 24 points (15 goals, nine assists) in 29 career games against Montreal, including seven (four goals, three assists) in four games last season.


They said it

"We watched some video yesterday and we saw where we weren't getting the job done the way we needed to … We have to be better, know which guy to take. When we don't do our job, it forces someone else to do theirs and ours, and that leads to breakdowns." -- Canadiens coach Claude Julien on cutting down on breakaways and odd-man rushes against

"I think it's just the skill in both the groups. People underestimate the power of the [Marcus] Johansson power play. (That unit) is also very lethal and scored two big power-play goals for us here. It's certainly their willingness to skate within a hard-working power play structure and not just being pretty. … We've been pleased with the work ethic." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger on the power play, which has scored six goals in 10 attempts


Canadiens projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Phillip Danault -- Brendan Gallagher

Artturi Lehkonen -- Max Domi -- Nick Suzuki

Jonathan Drouin -- Jesperi Kotkaniemi -- Joel Armia

Paul Byron -- Nate Thompson - Jordan Weal

Victor Mete -- Shea Weber

Ben Chiarot -- Jeff Petry

Brett Kulak -- Cale Fleury

Keith Kinkaid

Carey Price

Scratched: Mike Reilly, Christian Folin

Injured: Nick Cousins (back)


Sabres projected lineup

Victor Olofsson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner -- Marcus Johansson -- Vladimir Sobotka

Jimmy Vesey -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Evan Rodrigues

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Rasmus Dahlin -- Colin Miller

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Marco Scandella -- Henri Jokiharju

Carter Hutton

Linus Ullmark

Scratched: John Gilmour

Injured: Conor Sheary (upper body), Brandon Montour (hand), Zach Bogosian (hip)


Status report

Rodrigues will play his first game of the season after being scratched for the first three. … Cousins did not make the trip to Buffalo.


Stat pack

Thompson will play in his 700th NHL game. … Skinner's next assist will be the 200th of his NHL career. … Weber is one power-play goal from 100 in the NHL.

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