The Habs were fortunate to take 2 points away from the Sabres last night, as neither team showed a consistent effort. However, they did manage a 3-2 victory, coming from behind twice. Before last night, the Habs had not won in Buffalo in their last 7 encounters. They had scored no more than 1 goal in any of those 7 games.
Former Habs Rory Fitzpatrick managed to haunt his old team with the games first goal. Fitzpatrick, who surprised many in training camp with an impressive showing, leads the Sabres defense in goals with 3 this season. The Sabres have been a streaking team this season, trying to find some consistency. At the start of the season, they faced a goaltending dilemma of having 3 top netminders [Ryan Miller, Martin Biron, Mika Noronen]. Miller grabbed hold of the starter’s job, and held it until he recently fractured his thumb in practice. Biron has more experience but a larger salary than Noronen. The Sabres will likely go back to Noronen for their game in Montreal, although Biron played a good game. Coach Julien will likely start Jose Theodore at home. Watch for Sabres grinder Adam Mair to have a big game against the Habs, as he has 4 career goals against them. Rookie call ups Derek Roy and Jason Pominville played well, particularly Pominville who earned a spot on Daniel Briere’s line during the middle of the game.
Injuries & Scratches: Cristobal Huet [G, knee], Raitis Ivanans [LW/RW, fractured orbital], Mark Streit [D, scratch], Radek Bonk [C, flu/groin]
Jason Pominville-Daniel Briere-JP Dumont
Jochen Hecht-Chris Drury-Ales Kotalik
Tomas Vanek-Derek Roy-Maxim Afinogenov
Adam Mair-Tim Connolly-Paul Gaustad
Rory Fitzpatrick-Dmitri Kalinin
Teppo Numminen-Brian Campbell
Henrik Tallinder-Jay McKee
Injuries & Scratches: Mike Grier [RW, hip flexor, day to day], Toni Lydman [D, groin, day to day], Ryan Miller [G, fractured thumb, late December], Taylor Pyatt [LW, head injury/concussion, indefinitely], Mika Noronen [G, healthy]
The Week Ahead:
Nov 08 Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
Nov 10 @Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Nov 12 Toronto 7:00 PM