Habs try to rebound in matchup with Sabres

(SportsNetwork.com) – The Montreal Canadiens have had plenty of time to think
about a lopsided loss in their last trip to the ice. The first-place Habs hope
to take out their frustrations Friday night when they visit the Buffalo Sabres
at First Niagara Center.

Montreal last played on Sunday when it was handed a 5-0 loss by the New York
Rangers. It marked the fourth time the Canadiens were blanked this season, but
the Habs responded from their previous three shutout losses with victories in
the next game.

The Canadiens are 8-2-0 over their last 10 games, but they were shut out in
both setbacks during that stretch.

Michel Therrien’s club is capping a three-game road trip tonight when it
visits the Sabres for the opener of a home-and-home set. The clubs will
complete the series tomorrow night in Montreal.

The Canadiens lead the Atlantic Division with 33 points — 19 more than the
last-place Sabres — and have won the last six meetings with Buffalo.
Montreal, which is 7-3-1 as the visiting team this season, also owns a four-
game road winning streak against the Sabres.

Montreal had won two straight before getting slammed by the Rangers on Sunday.
New York scored once in the first period, and added two goals in both the
second and third stanzas.

Dustin Tokarski made 29 saves in a losing effort. Carey Price will get the
start tonight and Montreal’s No. 1 netminder is 13-9-7 with a 1.93 goals
against average in 29 career games against Buffalo.

Buffalo hopes to return to the win column tonight after having a season-high
three-game winning streak snapped in Wednesday’s regulation loss against
visiting Winnipeg. The Jets recorded a 2-1 win behind goals from Bryan Little
and Michael Frolik.

Chris Stewart scored in the third period and Jhonas Enroth stopped 24 shots
for Buffalo.

The Sabres only fired 20 shots on net in the loss and went 0-for-4 on the
power play.

“We couldn’t get our power play going. We practiced it all week and it looked
like we didn’t at all,” said Buffalo head coach Ted Nolan.

Buffalo played Wednesday without defenseman Tyler Myers, who missed the tilt
after taking an Alex Ovechkin slapshot to the hand in Saturday’s win over
Washington. Myers is questionable for Friday.

Michal Neuvirth could get the start in net for Buffalo on Friday. He suited up
as the backup to Enroth on Wednesday, but hasn’t played since Nov. 18 due to a
lower-body injury.