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Game #10 | Canadiens @ Sabres | February 7th, 2013 | 7:00pm EST


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Game #10 | Canadiens @ Sabres | February 7th, 2013 | 7:00pm EST

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Season series: This is the second of five meetings between these Northeast Division rivals. The Canadiens cruised to a 6-1 victory against the Sabres last Saturday at the Bell Centre.

Big story: Montreal failed to seize control of the Eastern Conference on Wednesday night, suffering a 2-1 home loss to the Boston Bruins. The Canadiens enter Thursday's action in third place in the Northeast, one point behind both Boston and the Ottawa Senators. Meanwhile, the Sabres have accumulated just seven points in their first 10 games and need to get things going quickly if they plan on qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Team Scope:

Canadiens: P.K. Subban gave Montreal a 1-0 lead midway through the second period Wednesday night with his first goal of the season, but Tyler Seguin scored just 14 seconds into the third and David Krejci gave the Bruins the lead less than two minutes later as the Canadiens saw their five-game home winning streak come to an end.

"We played well in the first period, but starting in the second we kind of backed up," Habs defenseman Andrei Markov said. "We stopped playing our game."

Sabres: Buffalo is off to a sluggish start this season, and the woes continued with Tuesday night's 4-3 loss at Ottawa. The Sabres are looking to end a three-game skid during which they've been outscored 14-7.

"It's so hard -- you guys know it's so hard to come back and win games when you're down," said Sabres captain Jason Pominville, as his club trailed 4-1 Tuesday night before seeing a rally fall short. "Ottawa's defense clogged up the lanes and they collapse in their zone."

Who's hot: Markov picked up an assist Wednesday night and has nine points (four goals, five assists) in as many games, while Subban is 1-2-3 in his three appearances. Tomas Plekanec has four goals and four assists in nine games. … Sabres forward Thomas Vanek leads the League with 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in nine games, while Pominville is 6-8-14 and Cody Hodgson is 5-5-10 in 10 contests.

Injury report: Montreal forward Petteri Nokelainen is out with a back injury. … Buffalo defensemen Christian Ehrhoff (muscle strain) and Andrej Sekera (lower body) both made the trip to Ottawa but did not play. Robyn Regehr (foot), Ville Leino (hip) and Patrick Kaleta (neck) are on injured reserve.

Game Preview

The Montreal Canadiens were victimized by a hot goaltender in their last game.

Another meeting with the struggling Buffalo Sabres may get the offense going again.

The Canadiens look to rebound from a recent defeat as they attempt to beat the Sabres for the second time in less than a week Thursday night.

Montreal (6-3-0) is scoring 3.0 goals per game, but the team has totaled that while splitting the last two. The Canadiens' latest effort resulted in a 2-1 loss to Boston as 20 of their shots were saved by Tuukka Rask, who has a 1.96 goals-against average.

"For me, the important thing is that we're getting quality chances," coach Michel Therrien told the team's official website. "It's going to happen in the NHL where you're facing a goalie that's playing really well. It's not a matter of will. I think we worked hard to create those chances.

"There are just nights the puck goes in and there are nights the goalie's going to make the save."

That certainly wasn't the case against the Sabres (3-6-1) on Saturday, when Montreal pounded them 6-1.

Despite the loss, Buffalo is 8-1-1 in the past 10 meetings with its Northeast Division rival, but much of that success is aided by stellar performances from Ryan Miller.

The 2009-10 Vezina Trophy winner surrendered four goals on 21 shots through two periods against the Canadiens last week before being pulled for Jhonas Enroth, who allowed two scores on 11 attempts.

Miller had been 6-0-1 with a 1.12 GAA and two shutouts over his previous seven starts against them.

The Sabres give up a league-high 3.7 goals per game - 4.3 during a 1-6-1 stretch.

Enroth didn't help Tuesday, making 20 saves in a 4-3 loss at Ottawa as Buffalo's slide reached three games.

He's lost both of his starts with a 4.75 goals-against average, while Miller is 1-4-1 with a 3.67 GAA in his last six.

"We need better goaltending. There's no secret to that," coach Lindy Ruff said. "I think (Enroth) will admit that he has to have a couple of those. Now you have to look to bounce back. I tried to let him bounce back in the game and I thought the team answered the bell.

"Right now we've got to worry about winning a game, whatever that takes."

It'll likely take improvement from Miller, who should be back in net. He's 3-0-1 with a 1.45 GAA and a shutout in the last four home meetings with Montreal.

Thomas Vanek leads the NHL with 19 points, but he's looking to get back on the scoresheet after his season-opening eight-game scoring streak came to an end Tuesday.

The left wing found the net against Montreal last week, getting just his second goal over the past 22 games versus the Habs.

P.K. Subban is giving the Canadiens some added scoring punch in three games since returning to the team after signing a two-year, $5.75 million contract Jan. 28.

So far, the layoff doesn't seem to be an issue since the defenseman has managed a point in each of his first three games.

Subban got his first goal Wednesday, and had an assist against Buffalo on Saturday in his season debut. However, that was just his third point - all assists - in 13 career meetings with the Sabres, and he has one in six road matchups.

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Enjoy the game!:D

(Hope it's a winner!)

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Fantastic job WCH! I thought I was seeing things with those eyes :lol: I had to look at it for a moment thinking... did his eyes just move :mellow:? Then I looked at Price...Do his move too?! What else is hidden in here :P

A) "bounce back" from yesterday and

B) Continue playing like we did against Buffalo last time.

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Nice job on your first "games day thread" WCH, well done!

I'm hoping the habs can bounce back from last night. A game they should've put away early on. They had multiple missed opportunities which they didn't connect on. Habs didn't capitalize on their chances, boston did and won the game.

End of story. Rask did play a good game, but there were a few open nest that the habs didn't bury.

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Nice job on your first "games day thread" WCH, well done!

I'm hoping the habs can bounce back from last night. A game they should've put away early on. They had multiple missed opportunities which they didn't connect on. Habs didn't capitalize on their chances, boston did and won the game.

End of story. Rask did play a good game, but there were a few open nest that the habs didn't bury.

Yeah, from the highlights it looked like we missed some golden opportunities last night. Hopefully the boys bury them against Buffalo tonight.

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