Buffalo Sabres at Montreal Canadiens Preview: Sabres Look To Build On Impressive Win In Boston

Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE

In their first game after a galvanizing win over the Boston Bruins, the Sabres will face the Montreal Canadiens for the first time this season, and it could also be the first game for PK Subban.

The Sabres rebounded from a tough second period in Boston to come away with an impressive 7-4 victory just two days ago. Thomas Vanek was a beast on the ice, and John Scott was a beast against Shawn Thornton. However, it was just the first win in four tries for Buffalo, who will be looking to get back to .500 with a win today in Montreal. There shouldn't be any changes in the Sabres lineup, but this could be the first game back for PK Subban, who began the season as an unsigned RFA.

Game #8 - Buffalo Sabres (3-3-1) vs. Montreal Canadiens (4-2-0)

Puck Drop - 2:00pm - Bell Centre - Montreal, QC
TV - MSG, CBC, RDS -- Radio - WGR 550-AM
Canadiens Blog - Eyes On The Prize (Please play nice if you're going to visit.)

Three Questions With The Enemy

Thanks to Andrew Berkshire of Eyes On The Prize for sharing his thoughts with us. To read our answers to his questions about the Sabres, check out the EotP game preview here.

1. Last year the Habs finished 15th. So far they're 6th. What's contributed to the early season success?
I could say health, but P.K. Subban hasn't played yet and Max Pacioretty has been out for half the games. A big part of it is puck luck. The Habs have been one of the luckier teams in the league so far from a shooting percentage standpoint. They've also managed to be a pretty dominant possession team though. I feel like a lot of the change is simply the expulsion of Randy Cunneyworth, who was just terrible as coach. The team does have more depth this season as well, with a healthy Andrei Markov for the first time since 2010 and for the first time in years the Habs have a 4th line that outplays their opponents. It's one of those situations where's it's a cluster of small adjustments that end up being a big difference, I think.
2. What are Montreal fans thinking about what happened with PK Subban's contract/low fives situation?
On EOTP most Habs fans were fairly level headed about the contract. Aside from paralyzing fear that he would be traded of course. Most people would have preferred a long term contract for Subban, I think, but at the same time locking up a guy who's likely worth close to $6M a season for $2.875M a season can't really be viewed as a negative. As to the triple low five thing, I'll miss it the first couple wins, but in the end it's something that doesn't really matter. The Habs made a conscious decision to salute the crowd after games, celebrating as a team. I'm not sure it really matters much, but I get the idea behind it. Some people are really mad though. I don't get it.

3. There were plenty of Sabres fans on the "Trade Up For Galchenyuk" bandwagon. How's he looked so far?
He's looked great! I wrote a post about his first six games the other day. He's not playing tough minutes or anything, but the kid is sickeningly talented and it's obvious. He and Brendan Gallagher are developing some serious chemistry. If I could think of one criticism, I'd say he could shoot more because he has a great shot, but feeding Gallagher hasn't been a bad idea for him either. I think you guys made out pretty well in the draft anyway with Grigorenko falling!


Buffalo Lines

Vanek - Hodgson - Pominville
Ott - Ennis - Stafford
Foligno - Grigorenko - Hecht
Scott - Ellis - Gerbe

Myers - Leopold
Ehrhoff - Sulzer
Sekera - Weber

Goal: Ryan Miller

Scratches: Leino, Regehr, Brennan, Kaleta

Montreal Lines

Eller-Desharnais-Cole
Bourque-Plekanec-Gionta
Prust-Galchenyuk-Gallagher
Moen-White-Armstrong

Markov-Emelin
Gorges-Diaz
Subban-Bouillon

Goal: Carey Price

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