Sabres look to snap skid in Montreal

Main storyline: The streak is up to 14 consecutive regulation losses for the Buffalo Sabres (14-33-3), and the frustration level continues to boil over for the organization. It will not be easy to end the streak on Tuesday night as the Sabres are in Montréal to play the Canadiens (32-14-3) at the Bell Centre.

Season series: Tuesday’s game is the fourth and final matchup of the year between the Sabres and Canadiens. The last game came on November 29 when the Sabres beat the Canadiens 4-3 at the Bell Centre. Brian Flynn scored the game-winning goal in the shootout to lift the Sabres past Montréal. The season series between the two teams is currently is 2-0-1 in favor of the Sabres.

Where they stand: Thanks to the Edmonton Oilers victory last night in San Jose, the Sabres now trail the Oilers by six points for the 29th place in the NHL. The Sabres sit last in the NHL for points, goals per game, goals against per game, powerplay percentage, shots per game, and shots against per game. For the Canadiens, they currently sit tied for fifth in the NHL standings, and tied for second place in the Atlantic Division with the Detroit Red Wings.

Recent performance: The Sabres last played Vancouver on Friday night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. Buffalo got on the board first thanks to a Chris Stewart powerplay goal, but eventually squandered the lead late in the first period on a late goal by Bo Horvat. In the second, Vancouver opened the lead, and eventually closed the game out in the third period to win 5-2. For Montréal, the Canadiens lost its most recent game against Arizona on Sunday. Montréal jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but the Coyotes came back led by Lauri Korpikoski and rookie goalie Louis Domingue, who recorded his first NHL win in his hometown of Montréal.

Buffalo notes: The Sabres are in its final game of a four-game road trip to come back from the All-Star break. The Sabres were held pointless in the month of January, and have not won since December 27th against the New York Islanders at the First Niagara Center. It has been a rough 14 games for the Sabres, as the team has been outscored 61-21 and outshot 466-295 in that stretch. The Sabres are also a minus-369 Corsi in the losing streak, adding on to a statistically dreadful season already. Since the expansion era in 1967, the Sabres are on pace to break the NHL record for the worst statistics in numerous categories this season. Chris Stewart has been Buffalo’s best player over the past stretch of games with six points (four goals and two assists) over the past five games. The Sabres are hoping to have Marcus Foligno back soon, as he has been out since December with a broken hand. Michal Neuvirth remains out as well for the Sabres with a lower-body injury. Jhonas Enroth will get the start in net for the Sabres after getting a rest on Friday in favor of Matt Hackett.

Opponent notes: The Canadiens had won five straight games going into Sunday’s game with Arizona. Even with the loss to the Coyotes, the Canadiens are still red hot, and have been firing on all cylinders. Carey Price has been a stone wall for the Habs in net all year, as he currently sits third in the league in goals against average per game (2.03), and second in save percentage (.933). The Canadiens’ top point producer has been Max Pacioretty this season with 23 goals and 17 assists, but Alex Galchenyuk has been great all year for Montréal as well with 15 goals and 19 assists. Price is expected to get the start on Tuesday after having Sunday afternoon off against Arizona.

Conclusion: Can the Sabres make it three wins over the Canadiens for the 2014-15 season, or will Montréal hand Buffalo a 15th consecutive loss? Opening face-off is expected for 7:30pm in Montréal. The game can be seen on MSG Network and can be heard on WGR 550 AM.

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