logo-canadienslogo buffaloPreview Game #51

Buffalo vs. Canadiens

Bell Centre – Jan. 31, 2017 – 7:35pm

Season Records Buffalo – 48GP (20-19-9) 65pts. – Seventh in Atlantic Division. Canadiens – 50 GP (29-14-7) 65pts. First in Atlantic Division.

Vs. Atlantic Division Teams – Buffalo (6-9-3) Canadiens (10-2-5)

0311 spt nhl canadiens 0188Season Series – Third of four meetings. – @Buffalo Oct. 13th – Canadiens-4 Buffalo-1. Gallagher with two goals plus Mitchell & Shaw. Moulson for Buffalo. Montoya stops 30 of 31. @Bell Centre – Jan. 21st – Buffalo-3 Canadiens-2. (overtime). Bogosian scores 1.48 of overtime. Franson ties game in third. Also Gionta. Lehkonen and Danault for Canadiens. Lehner vs. Price.

Last Time Out – Buffalo defeated in Dallas 4-3 Thursday. Canadiens lost to the Islanders 3-1 at Brooklyn Thursday.

Last Ten Games – Buffalo (6-4-0) Canadiens (4-5-1)

Home/Road – Buffalo on the Road – (9-11-6) Canadiens at Home – (17-5-3)

Roster Moves

….D Andrei Markov & C David Desharnais return to lineup from injury reserve. Markov missed 19 games with a groin injury; Desharnais out 24 games with knee.

….Canadiens acquire D Nikita Nesterov from Tampa Bay in return for D Jonathan Racine and 2017 sixth round draft choice on Thursday. D Ryan Johnston assigned to St. John’s IceCaps Thursday. D Zach Redmond cleared waivers on Tuesday and was assigned to St. John’s.

1 buff raduHead to Head

….In the last eleven meetings the road team has won eight times in the Buffalo/Montreal series.

….Since the start of the 2008-2009 the Canadiens have lost 13 of 19 home games vs. Buffalo – (6-11-2).

….Since the Canadiens swept the four game series vs. the Sabres 2013-14 the Canadiens are 4-4-2 overall vs. Buffalo. Four of the games went into overtime with each team winning once in overtime and once in a shootout.

….Since the start of the 2005-2006 season the Sabres and Canadiens have gone into overtime/shootout ten times at the Bell Centre. The Sabres are 9-1 in those games.

1 sabres goal mitchellAbout the Canadiens

….This game starts another heavy schedule. The Canadiens play four games in six days this week and will play eight games over the next 13 leading up to their mandated five day schedule break Feb. 13 to 17th.

….In the 11 years since NHL instituted the so-called “losers point” in 2005, the Canadiens best season was 2014-15 when they posted 110 points (50-22-10). In that season the Canadiens had 67 points after 50 games, two more than the current edition. Through the final 32 games in ’14-’15 the Canadiens record was 18-7-7 en route to the league’s second best record.

….With one game remaining in the month the Canadiens January record is 7-5-1. In the 2014-15 season the Canadiens were 8-4-1 in thirteen January games.

….Andrei Markov returns to the lineup after missing 19 games with a groin issue. In the season’s first 31 games with Markov in the lineup the team record was 20-7-4. In the 19 game games without him they were 9-7-4.

….Nikita Nesterov has been issued #89, the number he wore with Tampa and will make his Canadiens debut. (89 was Ryan Johnston‘s number. Should he be recalled to the Canadiens Johnston will now have #75)

….Ten of Shea Weber‘s 12 goals have come on the power play. His career high for power play goals is 14, set last season in Nashville. Weber is the first Canadiens defenseman with ten power play goals in a season since Andrei Markov in 2007-2008. He has an NHL-leading 24 power play goals over the last two seasons,

….Weber has 12 points in his last 15 games including 4 goals, 8 assists.

….Alexander Radulov has five points his last four games (2g, 3a) and has 14 points his last sixteen games (6g 8a),

….Among players with more than five goals this season, Paul Byron is tied for the league lead in scoring percentage with Chicago’s Artem Anisimov at 22.0%. Byron has 13 goals on 59 shots this season.

….Max Pacioretty has 7 goals and 24 points in 33 career games vs. Buffalo.

….Tomas Plekanec scored three goals in the season’s first 40 games (3g, 14a). In his last ten games he has 4 goals and 1 assist.

….The Canadiens have scored 13 power play goals in their thirteen January games – a 35.1% success rate. Canadiens penalty killing has given up a league-worst 12 goals over the same stretch (70% kill rate). It leaves Canadiens special teams at plus-1 for the month of January.

….With their 13 power play goals in the last 37 opportunities the Canadiens have moved from eleventh to second in the league.

….The Canadiens have registered six comeback wins after trailing at the end of the second period this season (6-10-3). Pittsburgh has seven to lead the league (7-11-1)

1 sabres lehkonen scoresAbout the Sabres

….The Sabres rank 24th in the league in scoring but things have improved in January. They have scored three goals or more in ten of their last 12 games.

…. Before losing in Dallas Thursday, the Sabres had won three in a row vs. Detroit, the Canadiens and Nashville – all in overtime.

….With 49 points, the Sabres are seven behind Philadelphia for the final Wild Card playoff berth in the East and seven behind Boston for the third and final playoff berth in the Atlantic Division.

….Ryan O’Reilly has 11 points (2g, 9a) in 11 games since returning from an appendectomy. O’Reilly is third among NHL forwards in ice-time at 21:40 and sixth in face-off percentage at 57.6%.

….Jack Eichel has 13 points his last 15 games including three multi-point games his last five.  In six games against the Canadiens he has not scored a goal but has two assists.

….Brian Gionta has at least a point in each of his last five road games – 3 goals, 3 assists. At the Bell Centre he has 13 points his last 13 games including a point in each of the lastg 5 (4g, 1a)

….Evander Kane has points in four straight on the road 3 g, 3assists.   He has nine points in his last nine games (5g, 4a)

….Kane has scored each of his 14 goals in the last 25 games including a 13 at even strength.

1 price on reinhartGoaltending

….Carey Price has a season record of 22-10-5 this season with 2 shutouts, a 2.35GAA and .921 save%,

….In his last eight starts Price is 2-5-1. In ten of his last 12 starts he’s given up three or more goals.

….In 32 career games against Buffalo Price is 13-11-8 with 1 shutout a 2.00GAA and .932 save percentage.

….Robin Lehner has been in ten career games vs. the Canadiens with a 3-3-3 record, no shutouts, a 2.94GAA and .914 save%.

….On the season Lehner is 12-12-5; 2.57GAA and .920 save%. No shutouts.

Special TeamsPower Play – Canadiens ranked 2nd in the league (36/153) 23.5%. Buffalo ranked 6th (34/151) 22.5%. Penalty Killing – Canadiens ranked 23rd (36/177) 79.7%. Buffalo ranked 29th (37/143) 74.1%.

Canadiens Lines & Pairings

67-Max Pacioretty 24-Phillip Danault 47-Alexander Radulov

62-Artturi Lehkonen 14-Tomas Plekanec 41-Paul Byron

42-Sven Andrighetto 51-David Desharnais 65-Andrew Shaw

43-Daniel Carr 17-Torrey Mitchell 32-Brfian Flynn

74-Alexei Emelin 6-Shea Weber

28-Nathan Beaulieu 26-Jeff Petry

89-Nikita Nesterov 79-Andrei Markov

31-Carey Price

Injuries – C Alex Galchenyuk (knee); ; RW Brendan Gallagher (IR broken hand);

Scratches – C Jacob de la Rose; D Greg Pateryn; D Mark Barberio

Buffalo Line Combinations & Pairings

63-Tyler Ennis 90-Ryan O’Reilly 21-Kyle Okposo

82-Marcus Foligno 15-Jack Eichel 23-Sam Reinhart

9-Evander Kane 28-Zemgus Girgensons 12-Brian Gionta

48-Will Carrier 19-Cal O’Reilly 26-Matt Moulson

77-Dmitry Kulikov   55-Rasmus Ristolainen

47-Zach Bogosian 6-Cody Franson

41-Justin Falk  38-Taylor Fedun

40-Robin Lehner

Injuries – D Jake McCabe (shoulder); D Josh Gorges (hip) C Johan Larsson (IR dislocated wrist) C Cody McCormick (LTIR blood clots leg)

Scratches – LW Nicolas Deslauriers; D Casey Nelson