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- January hasn't been a kind month for Lars Eller. He has just 12 points in 44 games, his lowest PPG average of any month.
The Canadiens are off to Buffalo Friday night to face the high flying Sabres. It will be a rematch of the Canadiens’ season opener, as the Habs return to New York to face the league’s best team. Montreal is looking to avenge it’s overtime loss on that vary night, as well as a 4-1 loss on October 23rd. Buffalo currently boasts the league’s best record. They are 18-3-1 and have 37 points in 22 games. The Habs in the meantime are also off to a solid start, as they are 12-5-3 in 20 games, giving them 27 points and placing them at 9th place in the NHL.
Goaltender Cristobal Huet will make his 11th start of the season. He is currently 7-2-2 with a goals against average of 2.20 and a save percentage of .932. He has regained his form from last season, and has been a big part of Montreal’s recent wins. At the other end of the rink will be Ryan Miller. He currently boasts a spectacular record of 11-2-1 with a goals against average of 2.78 and a save percentage of .911. It is sure to be an entertaining goaltending dual, as they are two of the hottest goalies this season.
Injuries are expected to play a huge role in this game. Buffalo currently has five players out of action. Tim Connolly, Jochen Hecht, Toni Lydman, Derek Roy and Henrik Tallinder are all expected to miss tonight’s game. Meanwhile, the Habs will be missing their leading goal-scorer, Chris Higgins. He remains sidelined with an ankle injury, and is expected to be out until mid December.
Both teams are currently on two game winning streaks. The Habs beat the Thrashers 3-1 on Saturday night, and also knocked off the Wild 4-2 on Wednesday night. The Sabres meanwhile destroyed the Lighting 7-2 on Monday, then beat the Leafs 7-4 in a penalty filled affair on Wednesday night. Game time is 8:00 PM, from the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York.
Projected Canadiens LineupLatendresse - Koivu - Ryder
Samsonov - Plekanec - Kovalev
Perezhogin - Bonk - Johnson
Bouillon - Murray - Begin
Komisarek - Markov
Souray - Rivet
Dandenault - Streit