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Sabres at Canadiens preview: Back from break

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The NHL returns from the All-Star break tonight, and the Sabres open up their week in Montreal.

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Game #49

Buffalo Sabres (20-19-9) at Montreal Canadiens (29-14-7)

Puck drop: 7:30 p.m. EST | Bell Centre | Montreal, QB

TV: MSG, SNE, RDS | Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation’s Canadiens Blog: Eyes on the Prize

Two Questions

1. Which Sabres team will we see coming out of the break?

All season long, inconsistency has been one of Buffalo’s biggest issues, whether it be period-to-period or game-to-game. But right before the All-Star break, the Sabres upt together a nice little run of exciting, comeback victories that should have included Dallas (yes, I’m still bitter over that game).

Will the time away from the ice help or hurt the team now that we’re back to the NHL grind? Will they looked rested and refreshed, or rusty and sluggish? We’ll find out in a few hours.

2. How much longer will the Sabres be able to score like they did this month?

January wasn’t just a good month for the Sabres offense, it was their best month of scoring in years. According to the team’s press box, the 3.33 goals per game they’ve scored in 2017 is their best since the glory years of 2011-13, and was good for 6th in the NHL over the past month. Raise your hand if you would ever have believed that watching this team back in November.

Projected Buffalo Lines

63 Tyler Ennis - 90 Ryan O’Reilly - 21 Kyle Okposo
82 Marcus Foligno - 15 Jack Eichel - 23 Sam Reinhart
Evander Kane - 28 Zemgus Girgensons - 12 Brian Gionta
48 William 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

Goal: 40 Robin Lehner