What's Buzzing:
1 -
Team 1 2 3
BUF 0 0 1
MON 1 3 2

Sabres-Canadiens Preview

AP - Sports

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.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (21)
  • Julianne Hough braver than T.J. Oshie, Capitals coaster ride reveals (Video)

    Julianne Hough braver than T.J. Oshie, Capitals coaster ride reveals (Video)

    The resulting footage is pretty much what you’d expect: Hough and Laich going all-in on the fun; Cosgrove having a blast; and T.J. Oshie looking like he’s one steep drop from soiling himself. … More »

    Puck Daddy - 9 minutes ago
  • Coyotes-Ducks Preview

    While the Arizona Coyotes are cautiously optimistic about their early success, the Anaheim Ducks don't seem too concerned with a slow start. In danger of opening with three straight losses for the first time in five seasons, the Ducks try to … More »

    AP - Sports - 47 minutes ago
  • Kings and traps; NHL franchise rankings; Ask Jagr anything (Puck Headlines)

    Kings and traps; NHL franchise rankings; Ask Jagr anything (Puck Headlines)

    Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com. … More »

    Puck Daddy - 48 minutes ago
  • Rankin Inlet hockey player Roger Tagoona signs professional tryout contract

    Hockey player Roger Tagoona, from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, has signed a professional tryout contract. The Port Huron Prowlers, a new team in the minor professional Federal Hockey League, which contains teams in the northeast and midwest United … More »

    CBC - 55 minutes ago
  • Sharks-Capitals Preview

    Missing the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons prompted the San Jose Sharks to make changes behind the bench and in net while keeping together an aging core group that sparked the postseason streak. San Jose looks to open with three … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 47 minutes ago