Canadiens vs Sabres Friday at the Niagara Center - The Montreal Canadiens will look to continue their first winning streak in over two months with the first of a 3 game road trip starting against the Buffalo Sabres. This season could not be any more drastic for the original six team. The beginning saw them assert themselves as the team to beat in the East boasting a 7-0-0 record right outta the gate. By about 1/3 of the season in, they found themselves at the top of the point race in the NHL with a 19-4-3 record.


Things were looking up for the Canadiens to say the least. Then injury reared its ugly face and stole their star goaltender Carey Price, who managed to win the Hart Memorial trophy, the Vezina trophy, and the Ted Lindsay award all last year as he backstopped Montreal to one of its best seasons in decades. Since then the team lost its faith, desire, and its ability to stay in games. The Habs now sport a 27-24-4 record that has seen numerous losing streaks and pointless runs. The Buffalo Sabres came into the season understanding that they are still adding and polishing pieces to their puzzle and have shown that if they continue on their current pace, they should have a winning contending hockey organization within 2 years.
Canadiens vs Sabres Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET
Lately Montreal’s problems exist outside of their top scoring line. Alex Galchenyuk has been producing well, capably playing at both ends of the ice and providing scoring threats at all times. Thomas Plekanec has 3 goals and 8 points in his last 4 games giving the Canadiens a much needed offensive boost. Captain Max Pacioretty seems to be the sore thumb of sorts managing to score only 2 points in his last 9 games. If Montreal is going to right their course and still have an opportunity to see post season play, they must garner more from their star power forward and captain.

Turnovers and blown defensive responsibilities have seen the Buffalo Sabres (21-28-6) dip even further in the standings. They have dropped their last 4 and have allowed over 20 goals in the same number of games. The Sabres last win came against tonight’s opponent immediately following the All Star break. If the Sabres are going to show themselves and the rest of the league that they are a legit contender anytime soon, they must play better in their own zone and communicate with one another more often.