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