A visit from the Montreal Canadiens might be what the Buffalo
Sabres need to end their current losing stretch.
The Sabres look to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat as they try
for a seventh straight victory over the Canadiens on Friday
Despite a 2-0 first-period lead Thursday, Buffalo (24-27-6)
allowed Philadelphia to score seven answered in a 7-2 road
“This time of year, it’s unacceptable to get a lead like that
and blow it,” said forward Jason Pominville, who has five goals in
five games. “That’s when you have to lock in and play better.”
The Sabres have been outscored 13-4 during a three-game skid
that’s followed a 5-0-1 stretch by a club fighting to stay out of
the cellar in the Eastern Conference.
The Sabres, however, have a chance to regroup while trying to
continue its recent success versus Montreal (23-25-10). Buffalo has
allowed just seven goals during its six-game winning streak over
the Canadiens, four of which have come in three meetings in
Though the teams’ last five meetings have been played in
Montreal, the Sabres avoided a third straight home loss to the
Canadiens with a 2-1 overtime victory Jan. 18, 2011.
Paul Gaustad had a goal with two assists in Buffalo’s 3-1
victory at Montreal on Jan. 31. The veteran forward also drew the
ire of Montreal goaltender Carey Price in that contest.
“He’s got a big mouth and he likes to run it, so what can we
do?” Price said. “You can’t worry about what he’s got to say
because he doesn’t do much out there.”
That could make for some interesting drama Friday night between
a pair of teams on the outside of the playoff picture.
Losers of two straight following a four-game winning streak, the
Canadiens are two points ahead of the lowly Sabres and three in
front of last-place Carolina in the conference.
“We’ve lost two in a row and we’re not where we could be,” said
winger Mathieu Darche, who scored his second goal in three games
during Wednesday’s 4-3 shootout loss to Boston. “I think the last
two weeks we’ve played the way we should have all year, and if we
would have done that I don’t think we’d be in this situation.”
Max Pacioretty scored his team-leading 24th goal and Erik Cole
added his 22nd to help the Canadiens rally to tie the game with two
third period goals Wednesday.
“It’s hard to say it’s a good game when we don’t come up with
two points at this time of the year, when we’re on the outside
looking in,” said Pacioretty, who has five goals and one assist
over the last four games.
Pacioretty has two goals and two assists versus Buffalo this
season. Cole, meanwhile, has a goal in three straight games overall
but one in his last 10 against the Sabres.
Though Price has started every contest during the six-game skid
against Buffalo, he’s posted a 1.79 goals-against average during
Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, who allowed four goals on 17 shots
Thursday, has yielded three during a four-game winning streak