The Buffalo Sabres are back home this evening as they welcome the Montreal Canadiens to First Niagara Center for their fourth meeting of the season.
The Sabres return to the ice less than 24 hours following one of their most humiliating defeats in what has been a humiliating season overall. Last night the Sabres found themselves with a 2-0 lead in Philadelphia over the Flyers, but gave up seven consecutive goals on way to a headshaking defeat.
The loss was Buffalo’s third in a row following a stretch of games where the team went 5-1-1. In their last three contests, the Sabres have scored a measly four goals. That only two players on the roster, Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek, have scored in the last three games provides one explanation to the team’s offensive struggles.
Buffalomay have an opportunity to remedy that issue tonight as they host a division rival in the Montreal Canadiens. The Sabres are already up 3-0 on the regular season series against the Habs, who have had a disappointing run through 2011-2012 just the same. Montreal sits at 4th in the Northeast Division and 13th in the Eastern Conference with just two points more than Buffalo’s 54.
Montreal enters tonight’s contest on a two-game slide, following a 4-3 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, and a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.
If Buffalo is to revitalize their scoring, they may find it a daunting task while on the power play. The Canadiens sport the number one penalty kill in the league, having allowed just 25 power play goals against so far this season.
Ironically, they’ve been anything but successful on the other end of the special teams spectrum. Montreal’s power play has connected on only 29 of 215 odd-man opportunities, making for a 13.5% success rate that puts them at 28th in the NHL.
The puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 EST this evening from First Niagara Center in downtown Buffalo. Fans can watch the game live on MSG or listen in through WGR 550.