Buffalo Sabres @ Montreal Canadiens Preview

Mike Weber battles to block a shot last March in Montreal. Photo Credit Richard Wolowicz / Getty Images

Mike Weber battles to block a shot last March in Montreal. Photo Credit Richard Wolowicz / Getty Images

Tonight the Buffalo Sabres (14-33-3) are in Montreal to take on the Canadiens (32-14-3) at the Bell Centre. This is the fourth and final meeting between these two teams and the final away game in a four-game road trip for the Sabres. In their last meeting, Buffalo slipped by Montreal with a gritty 4-3 shootout win. Down 3-2 in the third period, forward Brian Flynn tied the game with a little over five minutes left in the period to send the game to a shootout where he scored the game winning goal, and only goal, of the shootout. Many fans deemed this performance one of the best this year at the time and even though this game took place on November 29th, the same can probably said about this performance almost three months after the fact.

The Sabres are still riding a 14 game losing streak, matching the amount of Habs regulation losses this season, and have not earned a point since December 27th. Defenseman Josh Gorges, who played 8 seasons with the Canadiens, shared his feelings about his team’s losing ways with the Montreal media following Monday morning’s practice. From what has been said, Gorges fielded all of the incoming questions with a strong showing of professionalism despite the possibility of a painful moment standing in the visitors’ locker room of an arena that used to see him as a fan favorite. 

“Obviously, when you go through a stretch like this it’s difficult,” he said. “We’re in the business of winning. When you’re not doing it, you feel like you’re not doing your job. At times, our biggest mistake is that we play scared to lose. We play not to lose, so we need to go out there and play to win. That’s a mindset that that’s tough to learn and figure out when you’re going through tough times.”

This will be Gorges first game in Montreal as a Sabre since being traded to Buffalo last summer in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2016.

Forward Chris Stewart is beginning to heat up for this Sabres team. Against Vancouver, Stewart scored both of the team’s goals in a 5-2 loss. In the past five games, Stewart has recorded four goals and two assists. It may come as a surprise, but all four of Stewart’s goals have come on a Sabres power play that ranks last in the league with a 11.4% succession rate. Although Montreal’s penalty kill is currently ranked 5th in the league, the current success on the Sabres power play should not be overlooked and could propel this team to its first victory in over a month.

Carey Price has been a wall for Montreal this season. Since the All-Star break, Price has posted a 3-0-0 record with a 0.66 goals-against average, and a .980 save percentage. Two of these three games have been shutouts, and just yesterday, Price was named the NHL’s first star of the week. In the 39 games he has appeared in, Price holds second in the league with 27 wins, just 2 wins behind Pekka Rinne.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 PM with television coverage on MSG-B and radio coverage on the Sabres flagship station WGR 550.