MONTREAL - Here are five things you need to know ahead of Thursday night's game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre.
1. The Canadiens were in action on Tuesday for Country Night presented by LASSO Montreal at the Bell Centre. Claude Julien's troops gave up four goals to the Nashville Predators in the second period on their way to a 4-2 loss. Artturi Lehkonen lit the lamp in the third, putting an end to a 16-game goalless streak. It was also a special night for youngster Lukas Vejdemo, who scored his first career NHL goal in his seventh game. However, Vejdemo was reassigned to the AHL's Laval Rocket following the game. For his part, goaltender Carey Price turned aside 32 of 36 shots he faced in the loss. The Habs suffered their third straight defeat on Tuesday.
2. The Habs paid tribute to the late Henri Richard in a pregame ceremony after the 11-time Stanley Cup winner passed away on Friday. Youngster Nick Suzuki took the opportunity to overtake Richard for most points by a first-year player in team history. The 20-year-old rookie picked up an assist on Lehkonen's goal for his 41st point of the season. In the process, Suzuki put an end to an eight-game string without a point. For his part, Richard put up 19 goals and 40 points in 64 games in his first NHL campaign in 1955-56.
3. Paul Byron, Christian Folin, and Shea Weber were absent from practice on Wednesday at the Bell Sports Complex, taking a therapy day instead. Carey Price, meanwhile, held an off-ice workout. Byron, Weber, and Price should be in uniform on Thursday against the Sabres, while Folin is a question mark. We should know more about Julien's lineup following Thursday's morning skate on the South Shore.
4. The Sabres ended a six-game losing streak on Monday night, beating the Washington Capitals 3-2 in a shootout at KeyBank Center. Rookie Victor Olofsson and captain Jack Eichel tallied for Buffalo in regulation, before Dominik Kahun sent it home for Ralph Krueger's troops in the shootout. Goaltender Linus Ullmark made 33 saves in the win. Eichel leads his team with 78points (36G, 42A) this season. Sam Reinhart is second on Buffalo with 50 points (22G, 28A), while Olofsson rounds out the podium with 42 points (20G, 22A).
5. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. You can catch all the action on TSN2 and RDS on television, and on TSN 690 and 98,5 fm on the radio. The Canadiens' next game is on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. ET against the Ducks in Anaheim.