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Sabres Visit Montreal For First Of 2 Afternoon Games This Weekend

@ 2:00 PM

Last Game:

Montreal: Jan 30 at Senators Loss 5-1

Buffalo: Jan 29 at Bruins Win 7-4

Record:

Montreal: 4-2-0

Buffalo: 3-3-1

Points:

Montreal: 8

Buffalo: 7

Rank In Conference:

Montreal: 6th

Buffalo: 9th

Power Play Ranking:

Montreal: 27.3(6th)

Buffalo: 24.0(11th)

Penalty Kill Ratings:

Montreal: 78.1(19th)

Buffalo: 82.8(12th)

Goals For:

Montreal: 18(T-12th)

Buffalo: 23(7th)

Goals Against:

Montreal: 15(T-5th)

Buffalo: 23(T-24th)

Shots For:

Montreal: 167(26th)

Buffalo: 223(8th)

Shots Against:

Montreal: 158(4th)

Buffalo: 240(27th)

Blocked Shots:

Montreal: 77(T-25th)

Buffalo: 91(17th)

Hits:

Montreal: 154(14th)

Buffalo: 155(13th)

Face-Off Percentage:

Montreal: 46.8(T-26th)

Buffalo: 42.1(30th)

Team Leaders:

Goals:

Montreal: Markov and Plekanec(4), Gallagher and Gionta(2), 6 Tied With 1 Goal

Buffalo: Vanek(6), Pominville(5), Hodgson(4), Ennis(2)

Assists:

Montreal: Diaz(8), Markov, Galchenyuk, and Pacioretty(4), Gallagher, R. Bourque, Bouillon, and Desharnais(2), 6 Tied With 1 Assist

Buffalo: Vanek(9), Pominville(7), Ehrhoff(5), Stafford, Ennis, and Foligno(3)

Points:

Montreal: Markov and Diaz(8), Plekanec and Galchenyuk(5), Gallagher and Pacioretty(4), Gionta and R. Bourque(3)

Buffalo: Vanek(15), Pominville(12), Hodgson(6), Ehrhoff and Ennis(4)

Plus/Minus:

Montreal: Gallagher(+4), Galchenyuk and Prust(+3), Kaberle(+2), Diaz, Pacioretty, and R. White(+1)

Buffalo: Vanek(+4), Sulzer and Weber(+3), Ehrhoff(+2), Kaleta and Ennis(+1)

Penalty Minutes:

Montreal: White(42), Prust(41), Moen(9), R. Bourque and Desharnais(6)
Buffalo: Kaleta(18), Weber(17), Ott(13), Myers and Scott(12)

Shots:

Montreal: Gionta(22), Plekanec(17), Cole(14), R. Bourque(12)

Buffalo: Vanek(28), Hodgson and Pominville(24), Ennis(20), Stafford(19)

Blocked Shots:

Montreal: Gorges(21), Diaz(15), Markov(7), Emelin(6)

Buffalo: Sekera(17), Ehrhoff(13), Leopold(9), Regehr and Pominville(7)

Hits:

Montreal: Emelin(32), Gallagher and Prust(14), R. White(12), Bouillon and Cole(11)

Buffalo: Ott(27), Foligno(21), Kaleta(16), Myers(14), Regehr(12)

Face-Off Wins:

Montreal: Plekanec(56), Desharnais(39), R. White(24), Galchenyuk(21)

Buffalo: Hodgson(51), Ott(33), Ennis(31), Hecht(22)

Today Starting Goaltender Matchup:

Montreal: Carey Price 4-1-0 1.98 GAA .925 SV% 0 SO

Buffalo: Ryan Miller 3-2-1 2.64 GAA .920 SV% 0 SO

Notes:

Last Meeting: Mar 21, 2012 Sabres Won 3-0

Season Series: Sabres Won 5-0-1

All-Time: Sabres Lead 116-100-37

All-Time at MTL: Canadiens Lead 67-42-16

Vanek’s hat trick rallies Sabres past Bruins

One of the hottest players in the NHL lit up TD Garden on Thursday night to snap his team out of a cold spell.

Thomas Vanek scored a hat trick and added two assists for his second five-point game of the season to lead the Sabres to a 7-4 win against the Boston Bruins and snap Buffalo’s four-game winless streak.

Boston lost in regulation for the first time this season.

The victory was Buffalo’s first in Boston since March 10, 2011. Vanek now has six goals (good for second in the League) and none assists for 15 points in just six games this season. He has eight career hat tricks overall and 54 points (28 goals) in 46 career games against the Bruins.

“I don’t know. Statistics, you know?” Vanek said about success against Boston. “You can call them what you want, but they’re just that. For us it’s a big win.”

The Sabres were down 3-1 at one point in the second period and trailed 4-3 early in the third. Considering the Bruins had won their previous 43 games that they held a two-goal lead dating back to April 4, 2011, things looked bleak for the Sabres.

However, Buffalo battled back.

Cody Hodgson put Buffalo ahead to stay when he scored at 6:54 of the third on a one-timer at the end of a 2-on-1 with Vanek for a 5-4 lead. Vanek then extended the Sabres’ lead to 6-4 by scoring his third goal of the night with just 1:31 remaining. Jason Pominville added an empty-net goal.

“I think team toughness is when you get down by two, you don’t hang your head, you don’t pout, you just keep playing your game, and I think we did that today,” Vanek said.

Ryan Miller finished with 38 saves for Buffalo. Tuukka Rask stopped just 25 of 31 shots he faced for the Bruins, who are generally known for their stingy defense.

“We gave up a lot of odd-man rushes, and then those 2-on-1s, just a quick pass to the back door and one-timers in,” Rask said. “Obviously, we have to get better on that. Too many times, I think, we just let those guys stand in front of the net by themselves. The puck watching, it’s not like us, so we just got to fix that.”

http://www.nhl.com/ice/recap.htm?id=2012020092&navid=sb:recap

Senators roll over Canadiens 5-1

The oldest and youngest Senators — Daniel Alfredsson and Mika Zibanejad — both scored during a three-goal second-period burst as Ottawa ended Montreal’s four-game winning streak by beating the Canadiens 5-1 on Wednesday night.

Alfredsson, the Senators’ 40-year-old captain, broke a 1-1 tie when he beat Peter Budaj at 7:27 of the second period. Zibanejad, who turns 20 in April, scored his first NHL goal 1:58 later, blasting a shot off Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin and into the net as the Senators converted both halves of a double minor to Ryan White.

“Scoring a couple of power-play goals can really make a difference,” Alfredsson said. “The coaching staff has done a really good job, through last year and this year [with special teams]. It doesn’t matter who plays, we don’t change anything. It’s always an opportunity for somebody else.”

Chris Phillips made it 4-1 at 11:02, and that was more than enough support for goaltender Craig Anderson, who made 31 saves to win for the second straight night and improve to 5-0-1 in his six appearances this season.

Despite Anderson’s hot start, he says the game is still moving quickly and credits his teammates for easing the burden.

“It’s fast out there,” Anderson said. “But the guys in front of me help a lot by blocking shots and cleaning up the garbage. It makes my job a lot easier. I think we’re playing with a lot of confidence right now. We make a decision and we go with it. I’m able to read off our defense.”

Jim O’Brien and Chris Neil also scored for Ottawa, now 5-1-1 in its first seven games. Colin Greening, Zack Smith and Andre Benoit each had two assists as a dozen Senators hit the scoresheet.

Tomas Plekanec scored the only goal for Montreal (4-2-0), which hadn’t lost since opening night. Peter Budaj, making his first start of the season in place of starter Carey Price, stopped 22 shots.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/recap.htm?id=2012020088&navid=sb:recap

This Day In Sabres History:

February 2, 2006 Pominville 2 Point Night Leads Sabres Past Flyers

On this night 7 years ago the Sabres were victorious in a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Jason Pominville recorded 2 points on the night, Paul Gaustad, Brian Campbell, and Taylor Pyatt also recorded goals in the Sabres win. The Flyers got goals from Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble. Ryan Miller earned the win stopping 21 shots on the night. Robert Esche made 33 saves in a losing effort. The game was a preview of a playoff showdown that the Sabres won in 6 Games.

Injury Report:

Montreal: Nokelainen Back(IR/Out), Pacioretty Appendectomy(IR/Out)

Buffalo: McCormick Finger(IR/Out), Leino Strained Right Hip(IR/Out), Regehr Lower Body(Out), Kaleta Upper Body(Out)

Next 5 Games:

Feb 3 vs. Florida Panthers 3:00 PM(MSG HD)

Feb 5 at Ottawa Senators 7:30 PM(MSG HD)

Feb 7 vs. Montreal Canadiens 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

Feb 9 at New York Islanders 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

Feb 10 vs. Boston Bruins 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

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