@ 7:00 PM
Buffalo: December 5 vs Rangers Loss 3-1
Montreal: December 5 vs Bruins Won 2-1
Rank In Conference:
Buffalo: 16th(8th in Atlantic)
Montreal: 2nd(1st in Atlantic)
Power Play Rankings:
Penalty Kill Rankings:
Buffalo: Moulson(10), Hodgson(8), Ennis(5), Foligno and Ott(3)
Montreal: Pacioretty(11), Plekanec(10), Gallagher(9), Eller(8)
Buffalo: Moulson(10), Hodgson(9), Stafford and Girgensons(7), Myers(6)
Montreal: Subban(20), Markov(16), Galchenyuk(12), Gionta(11)
Buffalo: Moulson(20), Hodgson(17), Ennis(10), Stafford(9)
Montreal: Subban(24), Plekanec(20), Galchenyuk(19), Markov(18)
Buffalo: Adam(+1), D’Agostini, McNabb, and Sulzer(EV), Kaleta(-1), Moulson, Girgensons, and Larsson(-2)
Montreal: Markov(+12), Plekanec(+10), Subban and Gorges(+8), Gallagher(+7)
Buffalo: Myers and Ott(39), McCormick and Scott(38), Foligno(27), Weber(23)
Montreal: Parros(37), Prust(36), Subban(29), White(25)
Buffalo: Hodgson(70), Stafford(69), Moulson(61), Ennis(54)
Montreal: Subban(94), Gallagher(90), Pacioretty(86), Plekanec(75)
Buffalo: Hodgson(226), Ott(152), Foligno(105), Larsson(67)
Montreal: Plekanec(319), Eller(255), Desharnais(197), White(95)
Buffalo: Ott(101), Foligno(73), Girgensons, Myers, and Weber(52), McCormick and Ristolainen(48)
Montreal: Eller(53), Gorges(38), White, Murray, and Emelin(36), Moen(35)
Buffalo: Ehrhoff(49), Myers(36), Pysyk(35), Weber(34)
Montreal: Gorges(73), Diaz and Markov(70), Subban(45), Bouillon(38)
Tonight’s Starting Goaltending Matchup:
Buffalo: Ryan Miller 5-16-0 3.05 GAA .917 SV% 0 SO
Montreal: Carey Price 13-8-2 1.95 GAA .938 SV% 1 SO
Last Meeting: November 27 Canadiens Won 3-1
Season Series: Canadiens Lead 1-0-0
All-Time: Sabres Lead 119-103-37
All-Time at MTL: Canadiens Lead 67-50-13
March 16 vs Canadiens 7:00 PM
March 25 at Canadiens 7:30 PM
Last Game Recap:
Ennis Late Goal Too Late For Sabres In Lost To Rangers
They had their chances. Unfortunately for the Buffalo Sabres, they weren’t able to capitalize on them.
Buffalo fell to the New York Rangers 3-1 at First Niagara Center on Thursday and are still looking to solve many of the issues that have befuddled them all season.
“Same problems, another day where we have to search for the answers,” Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. “No one’s going to ride in here and fix it for us. We have to fix it ourselves. We have to look in the mirror at what we can do to try to correct this thing to try to make it better.”
The Rangers held a 1-0 lead heading into the third period.
With 12:52 left, Cody Hodgson skated in on a breakaway but was denied by Lundqvist’s right pad. As Hodgson skated into the corner, he tripped up Rangers forward Rick Nash and was called for a penalty. The Sabres paid for the infraction when Brad Richards scored a power-play goal 1:09 later to make it 2-0 and take Buffalo right out of the game.
“Those are the type of things that are killing us – the timing of situations that happen. Cody goes on a breakaway, almost ties it up and all of a sudden, trips the guy and we’re down 2-0,” Nolan said. “It’s a momentum swing that we can’t afford. I don’t think Cody meant to do it. It just happened and when things go bad, things go bad. We just have to keep fighting here and keep trying to find the right solution to turn this thing around and try to find a consistent way of playing.”
Taking late penalties in close games has been a recurring problem for Buffalo. The Sabres committed only two penalties all game, but it was the call on Hodgson that made it extremely difficult for the Sabres to get back into the contest.
“The discipline was all right, but it is the timing that’s cost us this year,” Sabres center Tyler Ennis said.
“A few times, myself including taking a penalty at the end of the game, penalties that lose momentum for the guys. You’ve got to be more disciplined than that and when we get power plays, it’s gotta be better.”
Ennis scored Buffalo’s lone goal with 2:06 left in regulation to spoil Henrik Lundqvist’s shutout bid. The Rangers goaltender finished the game with 27 saves.
First-place Canadiens face division rival Sabres
Big story: These longtime rivals enter the game looking at each other from different ends of the Atlantic Division. Montreal beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 on Thursday to overtake them in the division standings, although Boston holds two games in hand. Buffalo is last in the overall standings with 14 points after a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday. The Sabres have one win in their past eight games.
Sabres: After winning its first game after Ted Nolan was brought in as coach after Ron Rolston was fired on Nov. 13, Buffalo has gone 1-6-1, with the lone victory coming in overtime against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Sabres hoped to turn things around when the Rangers visited First Niagara Center.
But Rick Nash’s goal 17:47 into the first period put Buffalo in a familiar and unfortunate position — playing from behind. The Sabres have trailed after 20 minutes in 22 of their 29 games; they are 5-17-0 when trailing through one period.
Tyler Ennis scored with 2:06 left, but it wasn’t enough as the Sabres lost 3-1. It was the sixth time in their past seven games they were held to one or fewer goals. Ryan Miller made 28 saves but wasn’t happy with any of the three goals he allowed.
“My job remains the same. I have to respond with a better effort than I had against the Rangers and keep building my game, hopefully in anticipation of putting myself out there for USA Hockey and helping this team get on the right page here,” Miller said after practice Friday. “We’re improving in small areas and our games are becoming hockey games now instead of lopsided kind of events. We’re in games and we gotta find ways to win. Hopefully that’s coming.”
Canadiens: After opening November with four straight losses, Montreal has been among the NHL’s hottest teams, going 10-1-2. That run has been due in large part to a stingy defense and the re-emergence of forward Max Pacioretty, who has scored nine goals in his past nine games.
That hot streak for Pacioretty and the Canadiens continued Thursday. Montreal got the tying goal from Tomas Plekanec before Pacioretty scored the go-ahead goal with 2:18 remaining in the second period. Carey Price stopped 16 shots in the third to preserve the 2-1 victory, marking the ninth straight game in which he has allowed two or fewer goals.
“There’s a lot of character in this room and we all know we have a lot more to give,” Pacioretty said. “Certain guys are stepping up, like Carey tonight.”
Who’s hot: Moulson has two goals in his past four games. Forward Zemgus Girgensons has two points in his past three games. … Pacioretty’s linemate David Desharnais has nine points in his past nine games.
Buffalo: McCormick Upper Body(Probable), Sulzer Undisclosed(Questionable)
Montreal: Drewiske Shoulder Surgery(IR/Out), Bourque Lower Body(Questionable)
Next 5 Games:
December 10 vs Ottawa Senators 7:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)
December 12 at Ottawa Senators 7:30 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)
December 14 vs Calgary Flames 2:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)
December 17 vs Winnipeg Jets 7:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)
December 19 vs Boston Bruins 7:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)