CANADIENS (27-24-4) at SABRES (21-28-6)
TV: 7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, BELL TV, SNE, RDS, NHL.TV
BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres will be without forward Daniel Catenacci when they host the Montreal Canadiens on Friday.
Catenacci was injured on a check by Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas with 3:33 left in the third period of the Sabres' 5-1 loss. Gudas was assessed a five-minute major for charging.
"Dan's doing OK; he's doing OK," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "Obviously he was woozy going off the ice last night. I'm sure you saw him stumble by our bench. But he's doing OK today. He's still dealing with the side effects of the hit but he's doing OK today. … He went through the protocol and the concussion tests last night in Philadelphia and he was still feeling the side effects of the hit at that time. He said he's doing a little bit better, even as the night went on, and coming in this morning he's doing OK."
The Sabres also are missing forwards Zemgus Girgensons (lower body) and Johan Larsson (lower body). Forward Philip Varone from Rochester of the American Hockey League. He had one goal in four games with the Sabres in January. He leads Rochester with 12 goals and 26 points in 36 games. The Sabres will make one change to the lineup as defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo will play for the first time since Jan. 5. Colaiacovo likely will replace Mark Pysyk in the lineup as Pysyk and Mike Weber were the last two players off the ice after the Sabres' optional skate Friday morning.
"I think he's handled it like a professional," Bylsma said of Colaiacovo. "I know he's been disappointed with not getting in there and having the opportunity to play. I said to him his last four practices have been outstanding. He's worked at his game in practice; he's worked diligently. I told him that's not why he's getting an opportunity to play tonight, but it has shown exactly where his mindset's been. And I think he's ready to step in and do a job."
Chad Johnson will start in goal. Robin Lehner made 23 saves in the loss to the Flyers on Thursday.
The Canadiens may have forward Paul Byron back in the lineup Friday. Byron has been out since he sustained a lower-body injury against the Boston Bruins on Jan. 19. The Canadiens had an optional skate Friday morning but Byron skated on a line with Torrey Mitchell and Dale Weise at practice Thursday. Coach Michel Therrien said Byron will be a game-time decision.
"I'm feeling good. Feeling good out there," Byron said. "Hasn't been decided yet [whether he's playing]. I'm still waiting for medical clearance by the trainers and then it's up to the coach to decide whether I'm good or not."
Ben Scrivens will make his fourth straight start in goal for the Canadiens.
"You know what? There's times when you've got to rely on your technique. But there's a time and place that the extra effort and he's battling really hard," Therrien said. "The fact that he's battling hard and having to make some key saves and he's playing with confidence, and confidence is contagious and it gets into the rest of the group."
Here are the projected lineups:
Alex Galchenyuk - Tomas Plekanec - Brendan Gallagher
Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Sven Andrighetto
Tomas Fleischmann - Lars Eller - Devante Smith-Pelly
Paul Byron - Torrey Mitchell - Dale Weise
Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban
Mark Barberio - Tom Gilbert
Alexei Emelin - Greg Pateryn
Injured: Carey Price (lower body), Jeff Petry (lower body), Brian Flynn (lower body), Daniel Carr (right knee), Lucas Lessio (lower body)
Scratched: Nathan Beaulieu, Jacob De La Rose
Nicolas Deslauriers - Ryan O'Reilly - Jamie McGinn
Marcus Foligno - Jack Eichel - Matt Moulson
Evander Kane - Sam Reinhart - Brian Gionta
Philip Varone - David Legwand - Justin Bailey
Josh Gorges - Rasmus Ristolainen
Carlo Colaiacovo - Zach Bogosian
Jake McCabe - Cody Franson
Injured: Daniel Catenacci (upper body), Zemgus Girgensons (lower body), Johan Larsson (lower body), Tyler Ennis (upper body), Cody McCormick (blood clot)
Scratched: Mike Weber, Mark Pysyk
Status report: Therrien said the group of defensemen that play would be a game-time decision. Either Beaulieu or Emelin will play with Pateryn, but Beaulieu and De La Rose were the last two skaters off the ice.
Who's hot: Subban has a seven-game assist streak; he has two goals and eight assists during that time.