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Preview: Sabres (21-51) at Canadiens (46-28)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: February 02, 2013 2:00 PM EDT
  

After coming up short against one of the NHL's top goalies, the Montreal Canadiens will have to deal with one of the league's leading scorers.

The Canadiens will try to bounce back from their first loss in five games Saturday when they host a Buffalo Sabres team looking for its sixth straight win in Montreal.

The Canadiens were riding high during a four-game winning streak before Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson denied them their first five-game run in nearly two years in a 5-1 loss Wednesday.

Montreal (4-2-0) scored four goals in each game of the streak but couldn't do it again despite getting off 32 shots. Anderson, though, has been tough on everyone, leading the NHL with a 0.99 goals-against average.

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Now Montreal takes on a much different challenge as it tries to contain Buffalo's Thomas Vanek, who had his second five-point game of the season with three goals and two assists in a 7-4 victory at Boston on Thursday.

The left wing has six goals and nine assists, but he's scored one goal in his last 21 games against the Canadiens.

"Pucks are going in right now for me," Vanek said. "There's going to be stretches where nothing goes. So you like it right now, but you know it's going to head the other way."

After winning its first two games, Buffalo lost four straight before beating the Bruins, who entered 5-0-1.

Right wing Jason Pominville has also enjoyed a fast start with five goals and 12 points, including a goal and two assists Thursday.

Montreal's Carey Price, who has won four straight starts, will try to slow Buffalo (3-3-1) after sitting out at Ottawa. Price has a 1-4-2 record in his last seven home games against the Sabres despite a 1.55 GAA.

Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov may also play a key role after notching eight points in his last five games - all on the power play. Markov had his fourth assist Wednesday, setting up Tomas Plekanec's fourth goal in five games.

Fellow defenseman Raphael Diaz ranks among the league leaders with eight assists.

Montreal, however, went 1 for 6 on the power play against the Senators after converting 8 of 27 in its first five games.

"Special teams are key if you want to win hockey games," coach Michel Therrien said.

The Canadiens may have a tough time getting back on track in that area against the Sabres, who have killed eight of nine penalties over their last three games.

Buffalo's Ryan Miller allowed five goals in his first three games but has given up 11 in his last three. Miller, though, is 6-0-1 in his last seven starts against the Canadiens, including three straight wins with a 0.67 GAA in Montreal.

He had 34 saves in a 3-0 home win March 21 that gave the Sabres an 8-0-1 record in the last nine meetings between the Northeast Division rivals.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   PUC   O/U 
 BUF  +105      5.5 
 MON  -125      
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   PUC   O/U 
 BUF  +115      5.5 
 MON  -135      
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   PUC   O/U 
 BUF  37%   22%   56% 
 MON  63%   78%   44% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NHL PREVIEWS
 Saturday, Feb 2
 
    Devils at Penguins
1:05 PM EDT
    Sabres at Canadiens
2:05 PM EDT
    Oilers at Avalanche
3:05 PM EDT
    Hurricanes at Flyers
7:05 PM EDT
    Rangers at Lightning
7:05 PM EDT
    Bruins at Maple Leafs
7:05 PM EDT
    Red Wings at Blue Jackets
7:05 PM EDT
    Stars at Coyotes
8:05 PM EDT
    Kings at Ducks
10:05 PM EDT
    Blackhawks at Flames
10:05 PM EDT
    Predators at Sharks
10:35 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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