The Buffalo Sabres (5-19-1, 11 points) looks to snap their four-game losing skid tonight against the Montreal Canadiens (13-9-2, 28 points) at the First Niagara Center. This is Buffalo’s first of four meetings with Montreal this season.
Last week was a miserable week for the Sabres, as they lost to the Blues, Flyers, and Red Wings. In each game, Buffalo scored the first goal of the game, but they failed to score anymore after that. The team has to be able to nail down a victory once they have an early lead.
“Having faith and support for one another all comes down to communication,” said interim head coach, Ted Nolan. “Right now I don’t think we have too much faith in one another and we have to work on that.”
Not only are the Sabres being outscored, but Buffalo was horribly outshot 111-76 in the three games against the Blues, Flyers, and Red Wings. Ryan Miller has faced so many shots, that he has a .936 save % and 2.38 GAA in his last five game, according to the Buffalo Sabres.
The Sabres have also been irresponsible by taking some sloppy penalties. Last week, Buffalo took 12 penalties in three games, and some were at costly points in the third period. In the last two games, the Sabres took five penalties in the third period alone.
Overall, Ted Nolan is looking for more production from his team. He knows this team has the talent to be successful in the league, but the effort and production needs to step up a notch. “We just have to make sure we do the simple things, get shots on net, create some rebounds. A majority of the goaltenders in this league will stop you even if you have a point-blank shot from the slot. We have to create some traffic in front of it.”
Ryan Miller started all three games last week, and could also be in the net again tonight for the Sabres. As for Montreal, Carey Price is expected to suit up for the Canadiens. It could be another Olympic preview as Carey Price looks to secure the starting job for Team Canada in the Sochi Olympics.
In injury news, Cody McCormick is the only Sabres player banged up, but could make a return at some point this week. For Montreal, Rene Bourque is questionable for tonight’s game with a lower body injury. Davis Drewiske is on long-term injured reserve after undergoing shoulder surgery and could miss the rest of the season.
Faceoff tonight is expected around 7:05pm. The game can be seen on MSG, and also heard on WGR 550 AM.