The Sabres have 3 games this week 2 at home and 1 on the road. If the Sabres want to stay in the race they need to win all 3. Tonight it starts with a visit from the Montreal Canadiens coming off a 4-1 against the struggling Nucks in Vancouver Saturday. Wednesday the Avalanche visit the FN Center and Buffalo then takes a trip to Sunrise to play the Panthers in a BIG playoff type game. All three games MUST win in my opinion.
Buffalo received no help on the scoreboard last night with 2-0 wins by both Florida and Washington. They sit 4 points out of 8th going into tonight's game. Buffalo had a big comeback win in Ottawa Saturday. The Sabres never lead until the end of shootout when Tyler Ennis sealed the bonus point. Marcus Foligno played in his second NHL game Saturday as well and was a way different player than I saw early in the season. He was physical and scored his first NHL which was huge to tie the game at 3 with less than 10 minutes remaining. Miller again held his team in until they were able to get the equalizer late in the 3rd. Miller will be the reason Buffalo does or does not make the playoffs, no doubt about it.
Montreal comes in a winner of two in a row, but still sit in last place in the East with 64 points. The Habs got a big boost Saturday with the return of oft injured defenseman Andrei Markov. Markov brings some stability to the Habs blue line. The question is how long will he stay healthy? Max Pacioretty comes in still red hot, along with Erik Cole. Those two players have carried most of the Habs scoring all year, last time Buffalo played Montreal in the Bell Centre, Erik Cole was a force with multiple scoring chances on Miller.
On the injury news for Buffalo some good and bad news. Good news Vanek and PK36 will be good to go tonight. On the bad side Andrej Sekera was diagnosed with pneumonia and is out indefinitely. The Sekera news made the acquisition of Alexander Sulzer that much more important. Matt Ellis is always at for the fore-seeable future with a knee injury. Foligno will stay in the lineup to take the spot of Ellis.
No scoreboard watching needed tonight, that will resume tomorrow with the Caps, Leafs, and Panthers all in action.
Lineup tonight should be interesting Leino played on the top line with Hodgson and Pominville, Boyes was on the second line. With Vanek returning tonight it will be interesting to see how Lindy shuffles everything up.
Prediction: Buffalo NEEDS to score goals. Montreal could be a tired team after a west coast trip and playing in Vancouver Saturday. 3-1 Buffalo, Sabres got to have it.
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