For the second time this season, the Buffalo Sabres are playing to avoid a four-game losing streak. Last time, they lost in overtime to the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3.
Tonight, the Sabres are looking to change the current trend and defeat the Montreal Canadiens, who sent the Sabres packing on Sunday when they cruised to a 6-1 victory.
The Sabres look to bring a rested Ryan Miller back between the pipes to lead the charge as a depleted defense will need a little extra help against a surging Canadiens offense.
Defensemen Andrej Sekera, Christian Ehrhoff and Robyn Regehr could all be out again tonight in addition to forwards Patrick Kaleta and Ville Leino.
For the Canadiens, Carey Price has been playing extremely well in the last three games, despite losing a tough game to the Bruins at home Wednesday. After going into the third period with a 1-0 lead on a PK Subban goal, the Bruins scored twice in under two minutes and walked out of the Bell Centre with the win.
The Sabres left Montreal to entertain the Florida Panthers last weekend and lost a tough battle that night. They followed that performance up with another loss to the Ottawa Senators on the road. The Sabres can end this losing streak by beating the team that started it on Thursday at the First Niagara Center.
If the Sabres want to win this game, they'll need to find a spark to compliment the first line. Thomas Vanek, Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville are all among league leaders in points, but are currently the only Sabres players providing a spark this season. For the most part, Drew Stafford and Nathan Gerbe have failed to show up as expected this season, and role players such as Jochen Hecht, Steve Ott, John Scott and Marcus Foligno aren't providing the spark needed to keep the momentum in the Sabres direction.
The Sabres will need the offensive spark, especially in a game against a division rival on the rise. A few more losses in division, and the Sabres may be in trouble early this season.
Faceoff is at 7:00 p.m. tonight from the First Niagara Center.
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