Match UpAfter four days without hockey, the Canadiens (16-6-1) are finally back in action Friday night when they meet the Sabres (6-14-2) in Buffalo. The game starts at 7:00 and airs on RDS and Sportsnet East.
This is the second of four meeting between the Habs and Sabres this season and the final match in Buffalo for the year. The Canadiens beat the Sabres in unconvincing fashion the first time these teams met, taking a 2-1 shootout victory on a regulation and shootout goal by P.A. Parenteau.
What to WatchAt just past the quarter mark of the season, the Canadiens have seven scorers with five goals or more, led by Max Pacioretty who is ninth in the league with ten goals already this year. At 18 points, Pacioretty leads the Habs in that department as well.
The Sabres are at the bottom in of the league in a handful of offensive categories, including goals per game (1.59), power play efficiency (6.2%) and shots per game (23.1), so it should be no surprise that they're also last place in terms of points and points percentage. With 13 points on the season, Tyler Ennis, the team's leading scorer, is 100th in the league in points.
What's at StakeThe Canadiens set out on a four game road trip in the coming week, visiting Colorado, Minnesota, Chicago and Dallas. Friday and Saturday's home and home versus the basement dwelling Sabres is an opportunity to secure points that the Habs won't want to pass up.
Who's OutOver the past week, Nathan Beaulieu and Drayson Bowman have been sent to the AHL Bulldogs in favor of pre-season acquisition Eric Tangradi. With Michel Therrien favoring a seven-defensemen set-up since acquiring first Sergei Gonchar and then Bryan Allen, there's no guarantee Tangradi plays. Also, Michael Bournival (shoulder) is close to making his own return.
Former Hab Josh Gorges (knee) has missed the Sabres last four games but could be ready to play on Friday. Tyler Myers (undisclosed) is questionable for Friday's game while Cody McCormick (concussion) is out.