Buffalo vs. Canadiens
Bell Centre – Feb. 3, 2016 – 7:05pm
Lineup Changes –
D Alexei Emelin returns to the lineup after a healthy scratch for one game – replacing Mark Barberio. Sven Andrighetto replaces injured Lucas Lessio. Mike Condon in goal for the second straight night.
Head to Head –
….This is the second of five scheduled meetings vs. Buffalo. The Candiens beat Buffalo 7-2 at First Niagara Center October 23rd, the Canadiens eight of nine consecutive wins to start their season. Andrei Markov had a five point game; 1 goal, 4 assists.
….The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last ten games against the Canadiens. However in their last 23 vs. Montreal they are 14-7-2.
….In the last five meetings between the clubs, the road team is 4-1. The Sabres at 7-3-0 their last ten games at the Bell Centre.
….On this day last year (Feb. 3, 2015), the Sabres came into the Bell Centre riding a 14 game losing streak and ended it with a 3-2 win over the Canadiens. It was the Sabres third straight win over the Canadiens.
….The Canadiens are 0-4 in their last four home games and are 2-8-0 over their last ten at the Bell Centre. They have failed to post points in consecutive games over those ten home games while averaging 1.84 goals and allowing 3.24.
….The Canadiens are 1-7-1 over their last nine games during which they have scored 16 goals (1.78 per game and allowed 34 (3.78).
….The Canadiens are 2-8-1 over their last 11 and 5-19-1 since Dec. third. It is the worst record in the league over that span. The Canadiens have 11 points over the 25 game stretch, the only team with fewer than 20 since early December.
….They have scored 43 goals in the 25 games starting December 3rd, by far the fewest in the league. (1.72 per game). They have scored more than two goals in only five of the 25 games.
….The Canadiens gave up the first goal vs. Philadelphia Monday (and the second). Since the beginning of December the Canadiens are 0-15-1 when giving up the opening goal – on the season 5-18-3.
….P.K. Subban has 14 points his last 14 games (3g 11 a).
….Subban is tied with Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson for the league lead in power play assists with 17.
About the Sabres –
….This is the first of three games in four nights for the Sabres. They host Boston Thursday and play the Bruins in Boston Saturday.
….After 50 games last season the Sabres had 14 wins and 31 points. This season after 50 games it’s 20 wins and 44 points.
….The Sabres have won five of their last nine games. They are 11 points out of the final Eastern Conference Wild Card spot.
….In their last six road games against Atlantic Division teams Buffalo is 5-0-1. If the Canadiens can pick up a point in this game they would have points in seven straight divisional road games, a franchise first.
….Buffalo has averaged 1.93 goals over their last 15 games.
….Fourteen of the Sabres 30 losses have been by one goal.
….There are only seven players remaining on the Sabres 23 man roster who took part in the Canadiens/Sabres game on Feb. 3rd 2015.
….Former Canadiens Josh Gorges returns to the lineup after missing five of the last six games with an upper body injury.
….Rookie Jack Eichel has three goals, four assist over his last five games. In three of them he posted two points including twice last week for which he was named the NHL’s third star. He has seven goals and 11 assists since the Christmas break.
….With 16 goals 18 assists, Eichel is second among rookies in goals and tied for third in assists.
….Centre Ryan O’Reilly leads the Sabres with 17 goals but has not scored in his last nine games. He has seven points in eight career games against the Canadiens (4g, 3a).
….O’Reilly leads all NHL forwards in average ice time per game at 21:52. Evander Kane ranks third at 21:08.
….Kane leads the Sabres in shots (157) and hits (111) making him the only player to lead his team in both categories. He also ranks fourth in the league with an average of 3.9 shots per game.
….Brian Gionta can feel Max Pacioretty’s pain. Gionta was captain of the Canadiens during the 2011-2012 season when the Canadiens finished with 78 points.
….Matt Moulson has 13 points in his last 14 games against the Canadiens (10g, 3a)
….Mike Condon has played once against Buffalo. Oct. 23rd he stopped 32 of 34 shots in the 7-2 win at Buffalo.
….Ben Scrivens is winless in four starts with a 3.83GAA and .873 save%.
….In four games since he returned Jan. 15th from a high ankle sprain Robin Lehner has a .938 save% and a 2.27GAA. In his last three games his GAA is 2.02 and save% .948. The injury kept Lehner out of 39 games. Last week’s 3-2 win over ottawa was Lehner’s first win as a member of the Sabres.
Special Teams –
….The Canadiens power play now ranks 19th at 17.6% (31/176) The Buffalo power play – 7th @ 20.9% (32/153). The Canadiens have power play goals in each of the last three games 3/13 – 23.0% But since December 3rd they have 9 in 84 opportunities (10.7%)
….After giving up two power play goals against Philadelphia Monday, Canadiens penalty killing has dropped to 8th in the league 27/163 83.4%.
….Buffalo penalty killing ranks 17th 24/124 80.6%.
Buffalo Line Combinations & Pairings
88-Jamie McGinn 90-Ryan O’Reilly 23-Sam Reinhart
28-Zemgus Girgensons 15-Jack Eichel 82-Marcus Foligno
9-Evander Kane 22-Johan Larsson 12-Brian Gionta
26-Matt Moulson 17-David Legwand 44-Nicolas Deslauriers
4-Josh Gorges 55-Rasmus Ristolainen
47-Zach Bogosian 3-Mark Pysyk
29-Jake McCabe 46-Cody Franson
Injuries – Cody McCormick (IR-blood clot); Tyler Ennis (IR upper body)
Healthy Scratches – D Carlo Colaiacovo; D Mike Weber
Projected Canadiens Lines & Pairings
27-Alex Galchenyuk 14-Tomas Plekanec 11-Brendan Gallagher
67-Max Pacioretty 51-David Desharnais 22-Dale Weise
15-Tomas Fleischmann 81-Lars Eller 42-Sven Andrighetto
32-Brian Flynn 17-Torrey Mitchell 21-Devante Smith-Pelly
79-Andrei Markov 76-P.K. Subban
28-Nathan Beaulieu 26-Jeff Petry
74-Alexei Emelin 77-Tom Gilbert
Healthy Scratches – D-Greg Pateryn; D Alexei Emelin
Injuries – G Carey Price (IR suspected knee); LW Lucas Lessio (left leg); RW Paul Byron (IR upper body); LW Daniel Carr (IR knee)