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Sabres-Canadiens Preview @NHL
Sabres-Canadiens Preview

GAME: Buffalo Sabres (7-6-0) at Montreal Canadiens (10-3-1).

TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.

The Buffalo Sabres might be glad to be heading to Montreal. The Canadiens may be sorry they have to go home.

The struggling Sabres look to slow down the streaking Canadiens as the teams wrap up their home-and-home series.

The Canadiens Friday beat the Sabres 3-2 for their third straight win. The win improved Montreal improved to a league-best 6-0-1 on the road, its best start away from home since the franchise was established in 1909.

"I don't know if we play any type of different hockey on the road. All I know is that we're playing pretty good right now," said Niklas Sundstrom, who scored the game-winner with less than three minutes left.

The Canadiens also have been playing well at home, winning four of seven games at the Bell Centre. They moved ahead of the idle Ottawa Senators for the Northeast Division lead with Friday's win.

"We've known for the whole year we're a good team," Sundstrom said. "We all believe in ourselves. We just have to keep this thing going and try to get some more wins on the board."

After being given the night off Friday, Jose Theodore is expected to be back in net for Montreal. In his last three games against the Sabres on home ice, the 2002 Hart and Vezina Trophy winner, Theodore is 3-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average and a shutout.

After starting the season strong, Buffalo has lost three in a row at home and four of five overall.

Buffalo is also trying to cope with injuries. Forward Mike Grier missed Friday's game after injuring his hip earlier in the week.

Starting goaltender Ryan Miller underwent surgery on his broken right thumb Friday and is expected to miss up to two month.

Leading scorer Daniel Briere was held without a point Friday, ending a three-game points streak. He has just three goals in six career games at Montreal.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 4): Sabres - 14 points, 4th place (tied), 7 PB, Northeast Division. Canadiens - 21 points, 1st place, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Sabres - Briere, 10 goals and 16 points; Thomas Vanek, 9 assists; Jochen Hecht, 12 PIM. Canadiens - Michael Ryder, 7 goals; Saku Koivu, 10 assists and 15 points; Mike Komisarek, 25 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 4): Sabres - Power play: 20.2 percent (18 for 89), 9th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.2 percent (51 for 62), 16th. Canadiens - Power play: 18.5 percent (18 for 97), 15th. Penalty killing: 82.4 percent (80 for 97), 15th.

GOALTENDERS: Sabres - Martin Biron (1-1-0, 5.31 GAA); Mika Noronen (0-1-0, 7.27). Canadiens - Theodore (8-3-1, 3.06); Yann Danis (2-0-0, 1 SO, 1.50).

SEASON SERIES: Canadiens, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Friday; Canadiens, 3-2. At Buffalo, Rory Fitzpatrick and Adam Mair scored for the Sabres, while Alexander Perezhogin and Ryder added goals for the Canadiens.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Sabres - 3-3-0 on the road; Canadiens - 4-3-0 at home.

Associated Press
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