The Habs this week - March 2, 2009
Canadiens @ Sabres – Wednesday, March 4 @ 7:30 PM
If life without Vanek didn’t hurt enough, they’ll also have to overcome the absence of goaltender Ryan Miller, who suffered a high ankle sprain on Feb. 21 and is sidelined indefinitely.
Wednesday’s matchup marks the Canadiens’ final visit to Buffalo this season. The division rivals have split the series so far, with each team owning a 2-1-1 record, including an overtime/shootout win per side.
Canadiens @ Thrashers – Friday, March 6 @ 7:30 PM
Though the postseason has long been an afterthought for the Thrashers, the club is still looking to make the most of what’s left of an otherwise disappointing campaign. A 6-5-1 record in February marked the first time in 2008-09 that Atlanta had closed out a month with a record above .500.
A waiver pick-up from Nashville on Jan. 10, Rich Peverley is clearly enjoying life as a Thrasher. The 26-year-old has scored 21 points in 20 games with his new team, including seven points in his last seven games.
And speaking of recent acquisitions having an impact, Mathieu Schneider will be making his return to his recent stomping ground. The veteran defenseman has proven to be just what the doctor ordered for the Habs’ once ailing power-play, notching six points in as many games since returning to Montreal.
Canadiens @ Stars – Sunday, March 8 @ 6 PM
The Stars haven’t been shining all that much over the last week and a half. Dave Tippett has seen his squad drop five in a row, lighting the lamp just once or less in four of those five outings. Their recent struggles have seen them drop out of the top eight in the Western Conference to 11th place; they are, however, just two points out of a playoff position and hold two games in hand on eighth-seed Anaheim.
Injuries have decimated the Stars’ roster over the last several months and many have been long-term casualties. Captain Brendan Morrow and blue-line stalwart Sergei Zubov have been sidelined since November with a torn ACL and hip injury, respectively, while Brad Richards suffered a fractured wrist on Feb. 17 before Toby Petersen went down with a broken foot one week later.
Heather Engel is a writer for canadiens.com
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