The Buffalo Sabres will look for their first victory since their impressive win against the Bruins last Thursday as they battle the Montreal Canadiens at the First Niagara Center tonight. The Sabres are coming off another disappointing loss, falling to the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night, 4-3. After trailing 4-1, Buffalo did turn it up a notch and made a galliant effort to tie the game, but the poor defensive play and dismal goaltending was to much to overcome and the team once again fell short.
The Montreal Canadiens will also look to get back in the win column this evening after recieving their third loss of the season at the hands of the Boston Bruins Wednesday night, 2-1. Third period goals by Tyler Seguin and David Krejci were enough to give the Bruins the victory and keep the Sabres only three points behind the Canadiens.
This evening’s contest will be the second meeting between the two clubs in less than a week. Saturday afternoon at the Bell Centre in Montreal, the Canadiens overwhelmed the Sabres with a 6-1 thumping in front of a sold out crowd. Montreal’s Carey Price made 32 saves and both David Desharnais and Rene Bourque each recorded a pair of goals in their dominating victory.
While tonight’s game isn’t a ” must win”, a victory for the Sabres would be a huge boost for the team and help gain some much needed confidence (not to mention the two points). Just a quarter of the way through the shortened season, the Sabres find themselves in last place in the Northeast Division and tied for 13th in the Eastern Conference with the Florida Panthers.
One major key in tonights game is the goaltending. In the clubs last meeting, Ryan Miller played the first two periods giving up four goals on 21 shots for a .810 save percentage. Jhonas Enroth started the third period and didn’t fair much better giving up two goals on 11 shots for a .818 save percentage.
Carey Price of the Canadiens on the other hand is in the top five in the league in both goals against (1.70), and save percentage (.938). The Sabres will also need to be more disciplined against the Habs. In Saturday’s contest Buffalo took a total of eight minor penalties which resulted in two power play goals for the Canadiens.
After tonight’s match the two teams will meet three more times during the regular season but will not see each other again until March 19th. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. face off and can be seen on MSG.