Sabres Finish Season Series Against Montreal

The Habs come to town on the heels of a big win over Columbus, despite a struggling season.

Game 73

Buffalo Sabres (35-31-6) vs. Montreal Canadiens (29-38-6)

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY


Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Habs Blog: Habs Eyes on the Prize

Know Your Opponent

Montreal Canadiens

Record: 29-38-6 | 64 PTS

Division Ranking: 8th in Atlantic Division

Last Game: 8-2 win over Columbus

Last 10: 3-5-2

PP: 28th (17.3%)

PK: 29th (73.1%)

What to Watch

1. Who’s Hot

Dylan Cozens and Alex Tuch each have four points - two goals, two assists - in their last three games. Meanwhile, Jeff Skinner has three points (2-1) while Jack Quinn (1-2) and JJ Peterka (0-3) have also been on hot streaks of their own lately.

Montreal captain Nick Suzuki is riding a four-game point streak in Monday night. He had four points (1-3) in the team’s recent win over Columbus, and overall has 10 points in his last four games. On the backend, Mike Matheson is on a three-game point streak, with five points in that stretch, and has seven points in his last five games.

Mike Hoffman has three points (1-2) in his last three games, as does Kirby Dach (2-1) and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard (3-0).

2. Staying in the Playoff Race

The Sabres’ chances of making the playoffs has risen quite a bit in the last few days. Per MoneyPuck, the team now has a 6.8 percent chance of making the playoffs. Again, still not great, but much better than the one-point-something percent chance they had on Saturday. Things are still very much in flux, and if the Pens had managed to win Saturday, the Sabres would’ve only been four points out of the wildcard spot.

Aside from the Buffalo game, there are two others worth watching Monday night with regards to the playoff race. The Panthers, who are three points ahead of the Sabres, visit the Senators. The Islanders also host the Devils, while the Penguins aren’t in action.

Other games this week to watch (the Sabres don’t play again until Friday):

  • PIT vs. DET (Tuesday)
  • FLA vs. TOR (Wednesday)
  • NYI vs. WSH (Wednesday)
  • FLA vs. MTL (Thursday)
  • NSH vs. PIT (Thursday)/

3. The Season Series

Tonight’s game wraps up the season series between the Sabres and the Habs, with each team having won one game so far. The Habs won the first meeting of the season 3-2, but the Sabres roared back with a 7-2 win back on November 22.

Monday’s game could be a high-scoring affair, as both teams have had high-scoring results as of late - whether for or against. In their last 10 games, the Sabres have scored 27 goals and allowed 46 against. The Canadiens have scored 38 goals and allowed 45 against in their last 10 games.

Montreal’s recent stretch includes an 8-4 loss, a 9-5 loss and an 8-2 win.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres


Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson* - Alex Tuch

JJ Peterka - Dylan Cozens - Jack Quinn

Casey Mittelstadt - Tyson Jost - Victor Olofsson

Zemgus Girgensons - Peyton Krebs - Kyle Okposo

* Thompson is a game-time decision.


Rasmus Dahlin - Henri Jokiharju

Owen Power - Ilya Lyubushkin

Riley Stillman - Jacob Bryson or Kale Clague

Goaltenders: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Craig Anderson, Eric Comrie, Devon Levi

Montreal Canadiens


Rafael Harvey-Pinard - Nick Suzuki - Mike Hoffman

Denis Gurianov - Kirby Dach - Jonathan Drouin

Jesse Ylonen - Jake Evans - Brendan Gallagher

Michael Pezzetta - Chris Tierney - Alex Belzile


Michael Matheson - David Savard

Joel Edmundson - Justin Barron

Jordan Harris - Johnathan Kovacevic

Goaltenders: Jake Allen, Samuel Montembeault