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Sabres vs. Canadiens Preview: Undefeated Montreal rolls into Buffalo

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Chad Johnson will be in net for a fifth straight start.

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Game #7

Buffalo Sabres (2-4-0) vs.
Montreal Canadiens (7-0-0)

Puck Drop: 7:00 pm EST | First Niagara Center | Buffalo, NY
TV: MSG, NHL Net., RDS, CITYM, Bell TV | Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Canadiens Blog: Eyes On The Prize

The Sabres will have a tough task tonight when they face the undefeated Montreal Canadiens. Not surprisingly, the Canadiens will roll out the same lineup that has been successful thus far.

Buffalo is coming off a 2-1 shootout victory against Toronto and look to get a game closer to .500. They'll be in the friendly confines of First Niagara Center, where Buffalo has both of its wins this season.

Mike Condon will be in net for Montreal for just his second NHL start. He was impressive against Ottawa earlier this month, giving up one goal in a victorious effort.

Linus Ullmark was called up from Rochester this morning, but it appears that it will be Chad Johnson in net tonight since he left the ice first at the morning skate. It will be his fifth straight start and sixth straight game. Mike Harrington says that Dan Bylsma wouldn't commit to Ullmark starting tomorrow when he talked to the media.

Three Questions

1. How will the Sabres look against a top team like Montreal?

The Sabres have been able to hang with nearly every team they've played, even if the scoreboard doesn't always show it. Their possession numbers are drastically better than last season, and the offense is creating chances. They even looked strong out of the gate against the Eastern Conference Champs Tampa Bay. Can they look like they belong against a team that has dominated the league thus far?

2. Who will be on the top line today?

Dan Bylsma is still shaking up lines, and Bill Hoppe says to expect new lines tonight. At some point you have to wonder if Disco Dan will relax and allow some of the players to actually build some chemistry. Ryan O'Reilly and Tyler Ennis are the two players that are most frequently in that top group. Sam Reinhart was with them during the morning skate, but will he stay the whole game?

3. Will a former Sabre score tonight?

Montreal has a handful of former Sabres on its roster: Brian Flynn, Torrey Mitchell, Zack Kassian and Paul Byron. Can one of them get revenge in their former home arena?

Projected BUF Lineup

Kane - O'Reilly - Reinhart
Ennis - Eichel - Gionta
Moulson - Girgensons - Foligno
Deslauriers - Larsson/Legwand - McGinn

Gorges - Ristolainen
McCabe - Pysyk
Weber - Franson

Goal: Chad Johnson