Game preview: MTL vs. BUF
CANADIENS (40-26-7) vs. SABRES (20-43-8)
24 hours after knocking off the Boston Bruins in a shootout, the Canadiens are back in action Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre.
The Bruins, undefeated in its last 12 games, were riding high at the TD Garden. However, Alexei Emelin set the tone early with a thundering bodycheck on Milan Lucic and a goal from the point which put the Habs up 1-0. While Boston evened up the contest with a Patrice Bergeron goal with five minutes left in regulation, Alex Galchenyuk helped his team to a 2-1 shootout win by being the only skater on either team to light the lamp in the extra frame. Peter Budaj made 29 saves in 65 minutes of play and was perfect in the shootout.
The Sabres were last in action on Sunday, having lost 4-2 against the Vancouver Canucks. Despite taking a 2-0 lead early thanks to goals from Tyler Ennis and Jamie McBain, the Sabres’ netminder Nathan Lieuwen allowed three goals in the first period. Buffalo has eight losses in its past ten outings.
The presence of Travis Moen and Dale Weise is doubtful for Tuesday night. Both players were injured in the first period against the Bruins. If they are unable to go, Michel Therrien may call upon Ryan White, George Parros or even Lars Eller, who sat out on Monday night with a lower-body injury.
Carey Price will make the start against the Sabres. Since returning from injury on March 15, Price has won three of four games. Price’s counterpart could be Matt Hackett, who is with the Sabres for a second straight game since being called up last week. The nephew of former Habs netminder Jeff Hackett made 35 saves in a 3-1 victory in his only other start of the season.
Tyler Myers should be back in the lineup for Buffalo after a five-game absence. The imposing blueliner has logged 21:56 per game, second-best on his team.
The Habs will attempt to sweep the four-game season series against the Sabres. Nine days ago, Montreal blanked the Sabres 2-0 in Buffalo.