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Preview: Sabres host Canadiens looking for eighth consecutive win

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The Sabres will try for their eighth win in a row, and third straight over the Canadiens this afternoon

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Game 23

Buffalo Sabres (14-6-2) vs Montreal Canadiens (11-7-4)

Season Series: 2-0 Sabres

  • 10/25 - Sabres 4, Canadiens 3 (Coverage)
  • 11/8 - Sabres 6, Canadiens 5 (OT) (Coverage)

Puck Drop: 4:00 P.M. | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY

TV: MSG-B

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Canadiens Blog: Eyes on the Prize

Know Your Opponent

Montreal Canadiens

Record: (11-7-4) | 26 PTS

Last 10: 4-4-2

Division Ranking: 5th in the Atlantic Division

Conference Ranking: 6th in the Eastern Conference

PP: 24th

PK: 28th

What to Watch

1. Niemi Again

In their last meeting with Montreal, the Sabres orchestrated a third period comeback, beating Carey Price six times on the night en route to on overtime victory. This afternoon, Niemi will get another chance between the pipes in Buffalo. In his first start against the Sabres on October 25, he stopped 38 of 42 shots faced. On the year, the 35-year-old journeyman has struggled, posting a .887 save-percentage in six starts.

2. Pilut Taking Flight?

Hours before their victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night, the Sabres announced that the team had recalled Swedish defender, Lawrence Pilut from Rochester. In 15 games with the Amerks this season, Pilut has posted 22 points in 15 games, which places him in a two-way tie for the league lead.

3. Another Thriller?

Both of the Sabres’ games against Montreal this season have been closely contested affairs. As they both continue to jockey for position in a very competitive Atlantic Division, fans at KeyBank Center could be in store for another thriller.

4. Eight in a Row?

The Sabres haven’t won eight games in a row since their historic 10-0 start to the 2006-07 season (which tied a franchise record for most consecutive wins). Today they will try to take another step toward history against a Montreal team that has lost two-in-a-row, cooling-off following an impressive start to the year.

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Jack Eichel - Jason Pominville

Conor Sheary - Casey Mittelstadt- Kyle Okposo

Tage Thompson - Vladimir Sobotka - Sam Reinhart

Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Evan Rodrigues

Defense

Jake McCabe - Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin - Zach Bogosian

Nathan Beaulieu/Marco Scandella (game time)- Casey Nelson

Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton (confirmed)

Montreal Canadiens

Forwards

Tomas Tatar - Phillip Danault - Brendan Gallagher

Jonathan Drouin - Max Domi - Andrew Shaw

Charles Hudon - Jesperi Kotkaniemi - Artturi Lehkonen

Nicolas Deslauriers - Michael Chaput - Kenny Agostino

Defense

Jordie Benn - Jeff Petry

David Schlemko - Mike Reilly

Xavier Ouellet - Victor Mete

Starting Goaltender: Antti Niemi (Confirmed)