Posted March 22, 2013 on
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Montreal's only blemish during its current seven-game points streak came at home to the Buffalo Sabres earlier this week.
The Canadians have a chance to avenge that loss as they host the Sabres for the second time in five nights Saturday.
Montreal (20-5-5) avenged its only regulation loss in the last 19 games with a 5-2 road win over the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Canadiens, who are 6-0-1 since that 6-3 loss to the Islanders on March 5, now have a chance to pay back Buffalo (12-15-4) after the Sabres left Montreal with a 3-2 overtime victory Tuesday.
"Obviously a run like this feels good but we know we have a lot of work to do in improving our game," said Montreal forward Max Pacioretty, who had two assists Thursday. "If we want to be successful we have to change a couple things in our game and get better at it and hopefully we can keep doing that."
The Canadiens have a two-point lead over Boston in the Northeast Division and are on the heels of Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh. Montreal is in the midst of a 4-0-3 home stretch but has lost in a shootout and overtime to the Sabres since beating them 6-1 at the Bell Centre on Feb. 2.
Buffalo's Steve Ott scored in regulation and 2:16 into overtime at Montreal on Tuesday. Ott had an assist and scored in the sixth round of Thursday's 5-4 shootout home win over Toronto.
"He was the guy to go to,'' Sabres interim coach Ron Rolston said. "He brings a lot of energy to the team and especially the grit he plays with on a consistent basis. He can be put out in all situations.''
Ott has three goals in two games against the Canadiens, who hope to halt Buffalo's momentum by building on their latest victory.
Montreal trailed 2-1 on Long Island before scoring four straight goals, including three in the third period. Defenseman P.K. Subban had two goals and Michael Ryder scored his third for his 10th point in 10 games since being acquired from Dallas last month.
"This was a big win for us," said Montreal's Carey Price, who made 25 saves. "We wanted to rebound after that last game. I don't think we played particularity well in those first two periods, but we came out really strong in the third.
"We're really comfortable in tight games when we come out in the third period. We have a group with an incredible will and work ethic that allows us to overcome tough situations."
Price has a 2.29 goals-against average while winning five of six, but has yielded three goals in three of his last four against the Sabres.
Buffalo's Thomas Vanek has three of his team-leading 14 goals versus Montreal this season, but could sit out a second straight game after he was struck by a shot in the right hip Tuesday against the Canadiens.
Four points out of the final playoff spot in the East, Buffalo is 6-5-3 since Rolston replaced the fired Lindy Ruff on Feb. 20.
Subban has six of his nine goals in the last 10 games, but one in 15 career contests against the Sabres.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Drew Stafford has struggled finding his scoring touch this season. ¬© Dan Hickling
A bit of surprising news coming out of Montreal this afternoon after the morning skate as Sabres Alternate Captain Drew Stafford will find himself in the press box as a healthy scratch when Buffalo battles the Canadians tonight at the Bell Center.
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As the NHL trade deadline looms for this lockout-shortened season, one Buffalo Sabres fan fed up with his favorite team's performance this year decided to make a YouTube clip to show off his frustration.
The video parodies those "fire sale" videos for commercial businesses getting closed down and kudos to the creators for this one:
(Courtesy of It's Always...
The ****** man.
Alright, now that I got that out of the way, let's get to the reasons for his sudden rise in popularity in Buffalo. It is a pretty simple formula: Funny, hard working and hard hitting. That's the recipe for succeeding in this town with the minions. It is the reason why fans loved the Nolan teams, Mike Peca, Rob Ray and pretty much anyone who has a few...
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I asked you earlier if Buffalo could make it two straight, and I received pretty much all negative responses.
It took 65 minutes and a six round shootout, but the Sabres came a way with a 5-4 victory over Toronto on Thursday night at the First Niagara Center.
Steve Ott was once again a huge factor for Buffalo, netting the game-winner in the shootout. Ryan Miller extended the...
Brian Gionta scored the go-ahead goal 48 seconds into the third period, Brendan Gallagher added two more and the Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Islanders for the first time in three tries this season, 5-2 on Thursday night.
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from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Buffalo Sabres: It's hard to nail down exactly what players GM Darcy Regier would be willing to deal before the deadline, but chances are he'll listen on just about anybody. If teams are looking for defensemen, they can inquire about Robyn Regehr and Jordan Leopold -- both have expiring contracts. Regier recently floated the possibility that...
The Sabres‚Äô season has been nothing short of a disaster, but how will GM Darcy Regier address the defensive problems in this years Draft?
For the Buffalo Sabres, this season has been nothing short of a disaster! First, they trade star center Derek Roy to Dallas for gritty winger Steve Ott and defenceman Adam Pardy, then after a dismal start, they fire head coach Lindy Ruff who...
Just like that, Thomas Vanek scores both goal to deliver his team to a well earned 2-1 win in Montreal. The Sabres have now beaten the Habs twice in their own building this week.
Vanek scored the games's first goal by tipping home a Christian Ehrhoff point shot for the PPG. He also scored a beauty heel drag on Carey Price with 38 seconds remaining in the second period. Oh...
The Montreal Canadiens have suffered one regulation loss in their last 19 games, and it came against the New York Islanders. For whatever reason, the 23rd-best team (according to the standings) has given the Canadiens fits this season. And that's why a character win born of an offensive explosion in the third period of last night's game was all the more impressive.
Hockey fights are very common, but what is not are the significant events that took place in Buffalo on Thursday night.
Colton Orr, who has a total of 1,026 penalty minutes in his 11-year career, recorded 29 minutes in just two seconds of playing time on Thursday. The Maple Leafs‚Äô right winger not only served two minutes for cross-checking Buffalo‚Äôs Patrick Kaleta, but he also...
Nothing like a good hockey game in between a fight.
That's basically what happened Thursday night when the Buffalo Sabres got a hard-fought 5-4 ¬†Shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
And we say hard fought, we mean HARD fought.
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With teams such as Philadelphia, both team‚Äôs from New York, Montreal and Ottawa all in the hunt for the mammoth¬†defenseman,¬†Andrej Sustr has chosen to sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning, inking a two year entry level deal. Sustr, a 6‚Äô8‚Ä≥ defenseman, was widely considered one of the top free agent targets in college hockey this [...]
A Demostrable Sense of Killer Instinct
Dishing up an early lead to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night, for a brief moment the Montreal Canadiens appeared like the deer in headlights that graced the Bell Center ice all of last season.
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On Wednesday afternoon I opened my mailbox to find a familiar sight, one that I've come to expect every spring for the last six years.¬† But never has it left me more incredulous.
"An invoice for Sabres playoff tickets?¬† What kind of sick joke is this?"
My favorite part was this excerpt from the letter that accompanied the invoice: ‚ÄúWith the NHL Playoffs...