Found February 01, 2013 on
After coming up short against one of the NHL's top goalies, the Montreal Canadiens will have to deal with one of the league's leading scorers.
The Canadiens will try to bounce back from their first loss in five games Saturday when they host a Buffalo Sabres team looking for its sixth straight win in Montreal.
The Canadiens were riding high during a four-game winning streak before Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson denied them their first five-game run in nearly two years in a 5-1 loss Wednesday.
Montreal (4-2-0) scored four goals in each game of the streak but couldn't do it again despite getting off 32 shots. Anderson, though, has been tough on everyone, leading the NHL with a 0.99 goals-against average.
Now Montreal takes on a much different challenge as it tries to contain Buffalo's Thomas Vanek, who had his second five-point game of the season with three goals and two assists in a 7-4 victory at Boston on Thursday.
The left wing has six goals and nine assists, but he's scored one goal in his last 21 games against the Canadiens.
"Pucks are going in right now for me," Vanek said. "There's going to be stretches where nothing goes. So you like it right now, but you know it's going to head the other way."
After winning its first two games, Buffalo lost four straight before beating the Bruins, who entered 5-0-1.
Right wing Jason Pominville has also enjoyed a fast start with five goals and 12 points, including a goal and two assists Thursday.
Montreal's Carey Price, who has won four straight starts, will try to slow Buffalo (3-3-1) after sitting out at Ottawa. Price has a 1-4-2 record in his last seven home games against the Sabres despite a 1.55 GAA.
Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov may also play a key role after notching eight points in his last five games - all on the power play. Markov had his fourth assist Wednesday, setting up Tomas Plekanec's fourth goal in five games.
Fellow defenseman Raphael Diaz ranks among the league leaders with eight assists.
Montreal, however, went 1 for 6 on the power play against the Senators after converting 8 of 27 in its first five games.
"Special teams are key if you want to win hockey games," coach Michel Therrien said.
The Canadiens may have a tough time getting back on track in that area against the Sabres, who have killed eight of nine penalties over their last three games.
Buffalo's Ryan Miller allowed five goals in his first three games but has given up 11 in his last three. Miller, though, is 6-0-1 in his last seven starts against the Canadiens, including three straight wins with a 0.67 GAA in Montreal.
He had 34 saves in a 3-0 home win March 21 that gave the Sabres an 8-0-1 record in the last nine meetings between the Northeast Division rivals.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Montreal Canadiens are about to get one of the game’s best young defensemen back in the fold after signing restricted free agent P.K. Subban to a two-year deal.
You would think that might be met with some excitement in the Montreal dressing room, but it certainly doesn’t sound like that’s the case. In fact, it sounds like some other Habs are wondering what took so long...
This week, diving and embellishing has been the hot topic. So, who better than the Canadians defenseman P.K. Subban, who is a very talented and up and coming young defenseman. That being said, Subban's on ice behavior is disgusting, and his antics makes him look like a fraud.
I will call it like it is, Subban is a poor sport, no one wants to watch people flail around on...
A rough start to the season got a bit smoother for Lars Eller and David Desharnais on Saturday.
Eller had a goal and two assists and Desharnais scored a pair to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 6-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
''We've been struggling a bit the last couple of games so I think it was relief for Davey, too, to see the puck go in twice,'' said Eller...
Rene Bourque and David Desharnais each scored twice to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 6-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.
Carey Price made 30 saves for the Canadiens for his fifth win of the season. Lars Eller added a goal and two assists, while rookie Brendan Gallagher also scored.
Ryan Miller stopped 17 shots over two periods for Buffalo before being replaced in the...
Ask Michele Therrien is PK Subban is playing today and you'll be told "no decision has been made yet".Suffice to say, Subban will be playing because the Habs need him.
The Habs play the Sabres today, then play the Senators tomorrow. Subban will be a welcomed addition to the blue line. Where he seemingly will help them the most is on the rush. Therrien has employed...
Montreal hosts Buffalo today in the first of their traditional two Super Bowl weekend day games. And as for the blue line, that's not a bird, or a plane, but the Canadiens PK Subban, at practice for the first time in almost a year and ready to take the ice against the Sabres.
It's expected that Michel Therrien will leave the first power play unit untouched, as Andrei Markov...
MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens were raring to go when they faced the Buffalo Sabres. Even so, it took them nearly one full period to break through against Ryan Miller, who couldn't hold them off on his own. Rene Bourque and David Desharnais scored twice and Lars Eller had a goal and two assists to lead the Canadiens to a 6-1 victory over the Sabres on Saturday. Rookie...
How good are the Ottawa Senators? Time will tell. But based on what they showed last night, they're as good as any team in the league so long as Craig Anderson's playing like that.
The Canadiens had their hand in what proved to be a 5-1 win for the Senators. Indiscipline cost them in the second period, when the game was sealed on a double minor to Ryan White, with Alfreddson...
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The Ottawa Senators looked very much like a team playing their third game in four nights. The Carolina Hurricanes looked very much like a team that made the most of some unfamiliar rest during this 48-game sprint.
Both Craig Anderson and Dan Ellis were sensational in net for their respective teams, far and away the MVPs of tonight...
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Jason Spezza's injury status will hang over Tuesday and Wednesday wins like a dark cloud, but for the second-time in as many nights, the Ottawa Senators took care of the opposition on home-ice -- this time, in quite the one-sided affair.
Mika Zibanejad scored his first professional goal, Colin Greening, Zack Smith, and Andre Benoit...
NEW YORK (Feb. 1, 2013) – Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson, San Jose Sharks left wing Patrick Marleau and Buffalo Sabres left wing Thomas Vanek have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the month of January. Continue reading "Stars Of The Month"