CANADIENS (16-6-1) AT SABRES (6-14-2)
TV: RDS, SNE, MSG-B, BELL TV
BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres will have Tyler Myers back in the lineup on Friday against the Montreal Canadiens.
Myers missed the game Wednesday against the Winnipeg Jets with a lower-body injury. The Sabres replaced him with Andre Benoit and lost 2-1.
“I feel good,” Myers said. “I’ll be in tonight no problem.”
Myers was a late scratch and did not skate in warm-ups after practicing normally on Tuesday. He was struck in the hand by a shot from Alex Ovechkin in the Sabres 2-1 win against the Washington Capitals on Nov. 22.
“It was pretty much just bad timing,” Myers said. “I gave it a go and I was in a position where I needed an extra day and feeling good now.”
The Sabres struggled defensively without Myers and relied heavily on the young defensive pairing of Nikita Zadorov and Rasmus Ristolainen. Sabres coach Ted Nolan was asked how relieved he was to have Myers back in.
“Very, very,” Nolan said. “Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s taken away for a little bit. He’s a big part of our team and we’re excited to have him back for sure.”
With Myers back in, Benoit will be scratched again. Jhonas Enroth will make his third consecutive start.
The Canadiens enter the game winners of eight of the past 10 games but are coming off a 5-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday. After four days off, the Canadiens will be well rested.
“[I’m expecting] a team with energy and I’m expecting focus,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. “Maybe the execution won’t be there in the game, but we’re going to have to keep our game simple. I’m expecting that we play a solid game.”
Forward Eric Tangradi will make his Canadiens debut. He was called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. He was acquired from the Winnipeg Jets in a trade that sent Peter Budaj out of town on Oct. 5.
“He’s got a good chance,” Therrien said. “We gave a chance to Dale Weise. He was up and down, in and out of the lineup when he was in Vancouver. He’s taking full advantage of his presence in Montreal. We hope Tangradi will get the same result. He’s a big guy. He’s a good skater and he can finish his check. He plays a physical game and this is what we expect from him.”
Tom Gilbert will be scratched in favor of Tangradi as the Canadiens go back to using six defensemen. They went with seven against the Rangers. Carey Price will start.
Here are the projected lineups:
Max Pacioretty – David Desharnais – PA Parenteau
Alex Galchenyuk – Tomas Plekanec – Brendan Gallagher
Brandon Prust – Lars Eller – Jiri Sekac
Eric Tangradi – Manny Malhotra – Dale Weise
Andrei Markov – P.K. Subban
Sergei Gonchar – Alexei Emelin
Bryan Allen – Mike Weaver
Scratched: Tom Gilbert
Injured: Michael Bournival
Matt Moulson – Zemgus Girgensons – Tyler Ennis
Brian Flynn – Torrey Mitchell – Brian Gionta
Nicolas Deslauriers – Cody Hodgson – Drew Stafford
Marcus Foligno – Patrick Kaleta – Chris Stewart
Tyson Strachan – Tyler Myers
Nikita Zadorov – Rasmus Ristolainen
Andrej Meszaros – Mike Weber
Scratched: Andre Benoit
Injured: Cody McCormick (concussion), Josh Gorges (knee)
Status Report: Cody McCormick and Josh Gorges both skated on Friday morning. McCormick was in a red no-contact jersey as he recovers from a potential concussion. Gorges said there’s a possibility he could play on Saturday in Montreal if he’s cleared by doctors.
Who’s Hot: Zemgus Girgensons has seven points in the past eight games with four goals. Tyler Ennis has two goals and six points in the past six games. Enroth has allowed four goals in his past three appearances, including two starts, and has won two of those games… Price has won his past two starts and has stopped 64 out of 65 shots.