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Habs Notebook - Feb. 29, 2008

Friday, 29.02.2008 / 1:34 PM / News
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Habs Notebook - Feb. 29, 2008
Finding his touch:  After all the chaos of the trade deadline had died down, Canadiens' assistant captain Christopher Higgins sprang to life on Tuesday night. Higgins had a strong outing against the Thrashers and reminded the Canadiens faithful why so many fans sport number #21 on their Habs jersey.  The 24-year-old potted two goals and an assist, upping his total to 21 goals and 19 helpers.

Price check: Rookie goaltender Carey Price will get the call in nets against the eighth-place Sabres on Friday night, his second start as the Canadiens' starting goalie. Officially handed the reigns on Tuesday, the rookie netminder responded by turning in a 26-save performance in a 5-1 victory over the Thrashers. In Price's only other start against the Sabres on Nov. 23, he stopped 28 shots in a 4-2 loss at HSBC Arena.

Division rivals: After winning the first two regular season matchups, 4-2 and 2-0, the Canadiens look to end a three-game winless streak against the Sabres on Friday when the two teams meet for a sixth time this season. Despite that fact, the Canadiens appear to be in good position to defeat the Campbell-less Sabres, winning four of their last six games.  With a win in Buffalo, Montreal (34-21-9) would overtake the Ottawa Senators and move atop the Northeast Division while also grabbing the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference.

Talk about a first impression: It didn't take long before Quebec native Steve Bernier made an impact with the Sabres. After being acquired at the trade deadline in a deal that sent Brian Campbell to San Jose, Bernier scored on his first two shots in his first game on Wednesday, and added an assist in an 8-4 win over the Predators. Bernier now has 15 goals on the season, tying his career high set last season.

Minute Munchers: The Canadiens’ three blue line anchors - Andrei Markov, Mike Komisarek, and Roman Hamrlik - have all averaged over 20 minutes of ice time in the first three quarters of the season. Among these defensive beasts, Markov leads the team with 25:03 minutes logged and is ranked 14th in the league, while Hamrlik and Komisarek have averaged 23:14 and 21:37 minutes, respectively.