The Montreal Canadiens were victimized by a hot goaltender in
their last game.
Another meeting with the struggling Buffalo Sabres may get the
offense going again.
The Canadiens look to rebound from a recent defeat as they
attempt to beat the Sabres for the second time in less than a week
Montreal (6-3-0) is scoring 3.0 goals per game, but the team has
totaled that while splitting the last two. The Canadiens’ latest
effort resulted in a 2-1 loss to Boston as 20 of their shots were
saved by Tuukka Rask, who has a 1.96 goals-against average.
“For me, the important thing is that we’re getting quality
chances,” coach Michel Therrien told the team’s official website.
“It’s going to happen in the NHL where you’re facing a goalie
that’s playing really well. It’s not a matter of will. I think we
worked hard to create those chances.
“There are just nights the puck goes in and there are nights the
goalie’s going to make the save.”
That certainly wasn’t the case against the Sabres (3-6-1) on
Saturday, when Montreal pounded them 6-1.
Despite the loss, Buffalo is 8-1-1 in the past 10 meetings with
its Northeast Division rival, but much of that success is aided by
stellar performances from Ryan Miller.
The 2009-10 Vezina Trophy winner surrendered four goals on 21
shots through two periods against the Canadiens last week before
being pulled for Jhonas Enroth, who allowed two scores on 11
Miller had been 6-0-1 with a 1.12 GAA and two shutouts over his
previous seven starts against them.
The Sabres give up a league-high 3.7 goals per game – 4.3 during
a 1-6-1 stretch.
Enroth didn’t help Tuesday, making 20 saves in a 4-3 loss at
Ottawa as Buffalo’s slide reached three games.
He’s lost both of his starts with a 4.75 goals-against average,
while Miller is 1-4-1 with a 3.67 GAA in his last six.
“We need better goaltending. There’s no secret to that,” coach
Lindy Ruff said. “I think (Enroth) will admit that he has to have a
couple of those. Now you have to look to bounce back. I tried to
let him bounce back in the game and I thought the team answered the
“Right now we’ve got to worry about winning a game, whatever
It’ll likely take improvement from Miller, who should be back in
net. He’s 3-0-1 with a 1.45 GAA and a shutout in the last four home
meetings with Montreal.
Thomas Vanek leads the NHL with 19 points, but he’s looking to
get back on the scoresheet after his season-opening eight-game
scoring streak came to an end Tuesday.
The left wing found the net against Montreal last week, getting
just his second goal over the past 22 games versus the Habs.
P.K. Subban is giving the Canadiens some added scoring punch in
three games since returning to the team after signing a two-year,
$5.75 million contract Jan. 28.
So far, the layoff doesn’t seem to be an issue since the
defenseman has managed a point in each of his first three
Subban got his first goal Wednesday, and had an assist against
Buffalo on Saturday in his season debut. However, that was just his
third point – all assists – in 13 career meetings with the Sabres,
and he has one in six road matchups.