The Buffalo Sabres travel to the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec tonight and take on the red hot Canadiens. While the Sabres are coming off a disappointing loss to the New York Rangers Thursday evening by a score of 3-1, the Canadiens picked up their fourth consecutive victory on Thursday with an impressive 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins and are 8-0-1 in their last nine.
Buffalo’s offensive struggles continued Thursday evening against the Rangers, picking up one goal on 28 shots. Thursday’s game marks the 15th time in the Sabres 29 games this season that they have scored one goal or less, and explains why they are dead last in the league averaging a dismal 1.6 goals per game.
Not only do the Sabres find themselves in the basement of the entire NHL, the next nearest team is still seven points ahead of Buffalo. While the Sabres work ethic is much improved over the past few weeks, untimely give aways and poor passing were too much to overcome against the Rangers. It certainly will not get any easier Saturday night in Montreal.
The Canadiens are coming into the contest as one of the hottest teams in the league and after their victory Thursday evening, they leap frogged the Bruins into first place in the Atlantic Division. Buffalo will definitely have their hands full going up against the stingy Montreal defense, ranked 2nd in the league with a 2.0 goals against average and a 86.3 percent rating in penalty killing.
Not only have the Canadiens been impressive in the defensive zone, they also have one of the leagues better power play units led by defenseman P.K. Subban. With Subban’s 24 points (4 goals, 20 assists), and a well rounded offensive threat (seven other players with at least 14 points), the Canadiens have been showing why they are one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
This will be the second of four meetings between the two clubs with Montreal taking the first by a 3-1 score at the First Niagara Center just over a week ago. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and can be seen on MSG.