Canadiens vs. Buffalo
First Niagara Center – March 16, 2016 – 7:05pm
Lineup Changes –
….LW Lars Eller &^D Nathan Beaulieu return to the lineup. LW Stefan Matteau – healthy scratch.
….D Darren Dietz assigned to St. John’s.
….Ben Scrivens will start in goal.
….This is the fifth and final meeting between the teams this season. The teams have split the first four games. The Canadiens won the first meeting 7-2 on October 23rd and the last meeting 3-2 last Thursday at the Bell Centre. The Sabres won the two games between 4-2 Feb. 3rd in Montreal and 6-4 Feb. 12th in Buffalo.
….The Canadiens have won 5 of the last 7 games in Buffalo and have at least a point in 12 of the last 15.
…..The visiting team has won 10 of the last 15 meetings.
….Alex Galchenyuk has five goals in the last three games vs. Buffalo. He scored two goals in each of the last two against them.
….In his four career games vs. the Canadiens Jack Eichel has two points.
….Ryan O’Reilly has ten points in ten games against Montreal.
….Marcus Foligno has five points (3g, 2a) in his last five games vs.the Canadiens.
About the Canadiens –
….The return of Nathan Beaulieu and Lars Eller to the lineup reduces the current injury list to eight. The man games lost to injury total will reach 240 with this game.
….With the loss to Florida Thursday night the Canadiens fell to .500 for the first time this season. 32-32-8.
….The Canadiens have lost six of their last eight games (2-5-1)
….In their last two losses they have been outscored 8-2.
….Alex Galchenyuk has 12 goals over his last 10 games and now has a career high 26 for the season.
….Max Pacioretty has a five game point streak (1g, 6a) and leads the team with 52 points.
….Defenseman Mark Barberio has a three game point streak (1g, 3a).
….After 70 games the Sabres are 28-33-9, sixth in the Atlantic Division and five points behind the Canadiens.
….Since the All-Star break the Sabres are 8-7-5. (The Canadiens since the All-Star break are 8-10-4)
….Ryan O’Reilly returns to the Buffalo lineup after missing eleven games with an injury. He leads all NHL forwards in average ice time at 21:51. Evander Kane is second at 21:12.
….Among NHL rookies Jack Eichel is ranked in the top five in goals (2nd-22); assuists (3rd-26); points (2nd-46) and shots on goal (1st-212). His 22 goals are the most for a Sabres rookie since Thomas Vanek scored 23 ten years ago.
….Eichel has five goals, two assists over his last six games. His goal with one second remaining in overtime last Saturday vs. Carolina was one of the season highlights.
….Evander Kane ranks third in the league with 4.2 shots per game.
….Brian Gionta has a three game point streak including 1 goal, 3assists.
….Sam Reinhart has five points his last five games.
….In the second of back to back games – Ben Scrivens will start in goal for the Canadiens.
….Scrivens started the game against Buffalo Feb 12th in Buffalo and gave up 3 goals on 11 shots before he was relieved by Mike Condon. The Canadiens lost 6-4.
….vs. the Sabres Scrivens has a career record of 3-2-2 with a 3.15GAA and .896save%.
….Robin Lehner‘s .926 save percentage is the fourth best in the league among goaltenders with at least 15 games. In his last ten games Lehner is 3-5-3 with a .936 save percentage and a 2.08 GAA.
….Vs. the Canadiens Lehner has a 2-2-2 record with a 2.94GAA and .921 save percentage.
Special Teams –
….The Canadiens power play has produced 3 goals in it’s last 34 opportunities – 8.8%. It is ranked 22nd in the league at 17.1% (38/222). The Canadiens penalty kill is 5th ranked at 83.9%. (35/217).
….Buffalo is ranked 14th in the league in both power play and penalty kill. The power play has produced 41 goals in 217 opportunities – 18.9%. Their penalty killers are at 81.2% (34/181)
Buffalo Line Combinations and Pairings
9-Evander Kane 90-Ryan O’Reilly 44-Nicolas Deslauriers
28-Zemgus Girgensons 15-Jack Eichel 23-Sam Reinhart
82-Marcus Foligno 22-Johan Larsson 12-Brian Gionta
19-Cal O’Reilly 17-David Legwand 26-Matt Moulson
4-Josh Gorges 55-Rasmus Ristolainen
29-Jake McCabe 47-Zach Bogosian
25-Carlo Colaiacovo 3-Mark Pysyk
Healthy Scratches – none
Injuries – C-Cody McCormick (IR blood clot); D-Tyler Ennis (IR concussion); C-Cody Franson (neck); G-Jason Kasdorf (groin)
Canadiens Lines & Pairings
67-Max Pacioretty 27-Alex Galchenyuk 42-Sven Andrighetto
41-Paul Byron 14-Tomas Plekanec 17-Torrey Mitchell
81-Lars Eller 34-Mike McCarron 53-Lucas Lessio
13-Mike Brown 24-Phillip Danault 25-Jacob de la Rose
79-Andrei Markov 45-Mark Barberio
74-Alexei Emelin 5-Greg Pateryn
20-Victor Bartley 28-Nathan Beaulieu
Healthy Scratch – LW Stefan Matteau
Injuries – D-P.K. Subban (neck); G Carey Price (IR knee); D-Jeff Petry (IR sports hernia surgery); D- D Tom Gilbert (IR left knee surgery); RW Brendan Gallagher (lower body); C David Desharnais (IR broken left foot) LW-Brian Flynn (IR knee); LW Daniel Carr (IR knee);