Habs look to improve to 4-0 against Sabres
Monday, 01.17.2011 / 11:59 PM
NHL.comCANADIENS (26-17-3) at SABRES (19-20-5)
: VERSUS, TSN, RDS.
: Montreal 6-3-1; Buffalo 5-4-1.
: This is the fourth of six meetings between the Northeast Division rivals. The Canadiens are 3-0 thus far against the Sabres, although this is the first time the teams are facing each other since Nov. 27.
: Ryan Miller has been one busy goaltender this season. The U.S. Olympian has started 21 consecutive games for the Sabres, the longest such streak since starting in a career-high 34 consecutive games in 2007-08. Over the last 21 games, Miller is 11-8-2 with a 2.72 goals against average, a .915 save percentage and three shutouts.
"I've talked the schedule with Ryan," coach Lindy Ruff said. "I've got in mind what I need to do with this team and our goaltending. We're battling hard to get back in the picture, and it's desperate right now. It's hard on a lot of different people, not just our backup goalie (Patrick Lalime)."
: They nearly let it slip away, but the Habs escaped Monday night with a 5-4 overtime victory against the Calgary Flames at the Bell Centre. Montreal built a 4-0 lead, only to see it slip away as the Flames chased backup goalie Alex Auld
"I was pumped," Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban
said after tallying the game-winner in the extra session. "I was on for a couple of goals against, there were some bad plays, I jumped on the ice for the too many men call, I put our team in a bad position. But this is a game of highs and lows and I stuck with it."
Buffalo was unable to make it two in a row on Saturday night, when it suffered a 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Sabres peppered Rick DiPietro with 43 shots, but the No. 1 pick from the 2000 Entry Draft enjoyed one of his better games. John Tavares, the No. 1 pick in 2009, recorded a natural hat trick.
"We gave them every opportunity to capitalize in the second," Miller said. "Tavares is a very tough kid."
Habs forward Mike Cammalleri
had a goal and an assist Monday night and has three points in his last two games, while Subban has a three-game point streak. … Sabres forward Thomas Vanek had four goals and six assists in his last seven games.
For the Canadiens, defensemen Andrei Markov
and Josh Gorges
are out with knee injuries. Benoit Pouliot
missed Monday's game with the flu. … Sabres center Derek Roy is out, while right wing Patrick Kaleta (upper body) will be re-evaluated Tuesday.
: Habs defenseman James Wisniewski
has two goals and seven assists in nine games since being acquired by the Islanders on Dec. 28.
: "I think that's what separates the top teams from us right now. They play 60 minutes through and they don’t break down… we struggle at times doing that." -- Sabres forward Jochen Hecht
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