SEASON OPENER – PREVIEW – Canadiens @ Buffalo (Oct. 5/2017)

Oct 5th, 2017 | By | Category: Hockey-General News, Latest News

Game #1

Canadiens vs. Buffalo

KeyBank Center – Oct. 5, 2017 – 7:05pm

Head to Head

….The first of four meetings between the Canadiens and Sabres this season. Next game November 11th at the Bell Centre.

….Last season the Canadiens had a 2-1-1 record vs. Buffalo including 1-1-0 at Buffalo.

….The leading scorers in last seasons four-game series were Max Pacioretty -3 goals, 2 assists. For Buffalo – Evander Kane, 0 goals, 4 assists. The leading goalscorer – Brian Gionta with 2.

….Over the last ten home games against the Canadiens, the Sabres are 7-3-0.

….Starting in 1985 this is the sixth time the Sabres have opened their home season vs. the Canadiens including five of the last six seasons.

….In those last five Buffalo openers , the Canadiens have one win (4-1 last October), a loss and a tie plus two shootout losses. The Canadiens have at least a point in15 of the last 18 games in Buffalo and have won eight of the last ten.

….The road team has won nine of the last thirteen games in the Buffalo/Montreal series.

….Since the Canadiens swept the four game season series in 2013-2014 the canadiens are 6-4-2 vs. Buffalo. Five of the 12 games were decided in overtime or a shootout (4X).

About the Canadiens

….The Canadiens finished the pre-season with a 2-6-0 record.

….This is the Canadiens 109th season-opener and their 101st in the NHL; their 41st opener on the road. (The Canadiens are 18-15-7 in road openers)

….From last season’s opening night lineup on defence, only Shea Weber remains (Jeff Petry was injured), (Gone are Markov, Emelin, Beaulieu, Pateryn, Redmond & Sergachev).

….A total of ten skaters from last season’s opening night roster are no longer in the Canadiens organization including forwards Brian Flynn, Sven Andrighetto, Alexander Radulov, David Desharnais. Daniel Carr is now with the Laval Rocket.

….Tomas Plekanec begins his 12th season with the Canadiens. In his 68 career games vs. Buffalo he has 14 goals and 38 points. Mark Streit is second with 10 career goals and 27 points in 35 games. Max Pacioretty has 10 goals, 17 assists in 35 games.

….The Canadiens have two on their roster who have played with Buffalo – Torrey Mitchell and Paul Byron.

….Karl Alzner will play in his 541st consecutive regular season game dating back to the opening of the2010-2011 season. His is fifth longest active iron man streak in the league. (Phillip Danault is secdond on the Canadiens with 132 consecutive games)

About the Sabres

….Phil Housley will make his NHL head coaching debut in this game. He played eight seasons on the Buffalo defense. His 1495 NHL games were an NHL record for American born players and was inducted to the Hall of Fame in November 2015.

….The name of the Sabres venue has been changed to KeyBank Centre, the fourth name change since the arena opened in1996 – formerly First Niagara Centre; HSBC Arena and Marine Midland Arena.

….The last time the Sabres won their first game of a season either home or away was the lockout shortened 2012 season. (Jan 20th, 2013 vs. Philadelphia) Last season the Canadiens beat them 4-1.

….The Sabres finished their pre-season with a 1-4-1 record.

….Like the Canadiens, the Sabres have a rebuilt defense. Josh Gorges won’t be dressed leaving only two returning from last season. Making their debut are Marco Scndella, Victor Antipin, Matt Tennyson and Nathan Beaulieu.

…..Buffalo will have three players on their roster who have played for the Canadiens – Nathan Beaulieu, Josh Gorges and Benoit Pouliot.

….With the departure of UFA Brian Gionta, the Sabres will start the season with four alternate captains, Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly, Kyle Okposo and Zach Bogosian. (Gionta remains unsigned.)

….October 3rd Buffalo signed forward Jack Eichel to an eight year contract extension at 10 million per season.

….Eichel led the Sabres with 57 points last season (24g, 33a) in 61 games.

….Eichel led the NHL with an average of 4.1 shots on goal per game. He ranked 11th with 0.93 points per game.

….Eichel has played in eight games vs. the Canadiens with three points, all assists.

….Jason Pominville leads active Sabres in scoring versus Montreal with 13 goals and 36 points in 56 career games.

….Ryan O’Reilly has 14 points (including 4 goals) in 15 career games vs. the Canadiens. In his eight games since joining the Sabres he has eight points (1g, 7a).

….Evander Kane and Jason Pominville have seven points in their last seven games against the Canadiens. (Kane with 2g, 5a; Pominville 5g, 2a)

Goaltending

….Carey Price was not dressed for last season’s opener in Buffalo (Charlie Lindgren backed up Al Montoya)

….In last season’s three appearances vs. Buffalo Price was 1-1-1 with a 2.33GAA and .935 GAA.

….In 34 career starts vs. Buffalo Price has a 14-12-8 record with 1 shutout, a 2.00GAA and .932 save%.

….Robin Lehner was 2-2-0 vs. the Canadiens last season with 3.00GAA and .907 sv%. Career vs. the Canadiens Lehner is 4-4-3 with a 2.95GAA and .913 sv% in 12 appearances.

….Last season Lehner faced 8 shots in shootout situations and was scored-upon eight times. (save% 0.00)

Canadiens Lines & Pairings

67-Max Pacioretty 92-Jonathan Drouin 11-Brendan Gallagher

27-Alex Galchenyuk 24-Phillip Danault 65-Andrew Shaw

54-Charles Hudon 14-Tomas Plekanec 62-Artturi Lehkonen

41-Paul Byron 25-Jacob de la Rose 83-Alex Hemsky

53-Victor Mete 6-Shea Weber

22-Karl Alzner 26-Jeff Petry

8-Jordie Benn 32-Mark Streit

31-Carey Price

Healthy Scratches – C Torrey Mitchell; D Brandon Davidson; D Joe Morrow

Injured – D David Schlemko (hand)

Buffalo Lines & Pairings

9-Evander Kane 15-Jack Eichel 29-Jason Pominville

67-Benoit Pouliot 90-Ryan O’Reilly 21-Kyle Okposo

28-Zemgus Girgensons 23-Sam Reinhart 25-Seth Griffith

22-Johan Larsson 10-Jacob Josefson 17-Jordan Nolan

55-Rasmus Ristolainen 82-Nathan Beaulieu

6-Marco Scandella 5-Matt Tennyson

19-Jake McCabe 93-Victor Antipin

40-Robin Lehner

Healthy Scratches – LW Matt Moulson; D Josh Gorges;

Injured – D Zach Bogosian

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