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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 7th (All times Eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (6-21-2) at Montreal Canadiens (18-9-3), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - After taking over first place in the Atlantic Division last time out, the Montreal Canadiens take aim at a season-high fifth straight victory on Saturday night as they play host to the Buffalo Sabres.

Montreal trailed division-leading Boston by a point in the standings ahead of Thursday's meeting at the Bell Centre, but jumped into first place after beating the Bruins 2-1 in regulation.

Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty had the goals, while Carey Price notched 32 saves and allowed less than three goals for a ninth straight outing.

Montreal is on its third four-game win streak of the season and is 8-0-1 in its last nine games, as well as 10-1-2 in the last 13.

"They came out strong, you have to give the Bruins credit for that," said Habs coach Michel Therrien. "But we adjusted really well. We played with desperation in the second period. We knew the importance of tonight's game and a lot of credit goes to my players. I think they left it on the ice and emptied the tank."

Pacioretty netted his team-leading 11th goal of the season, one more than Plekanec, and nine of those tallies have come in his last nine games. He managed to score the go-ahead goal late in the second period after shaking off a scary incident in the first period.

Boston lost defenseman Johnny Boychuk when he went into the left-corner boards to chase down a puck. He was pushed from behind by Pacioretty and hit the boards head first.

Boychuk laid on the ice for several minutes with trainers attending to him. He was conscious the whole time and his body was immobilized before he was carted off the ice on a stretcher.

Pacioretty was issued a boarding minor on the play at 4:28 and said the play shook him up a bit.

The 25-year-old, of course, was taken off the ice on a stretcher during an encounter with Boston on March 8, 2011 after the Bruins' Zdeno Chara drilled him into the stanchion at the end of the bench. Pacioretty suffered a concussion and fractured vertebrae as a result of the hit.

"I honestly had no intention of even really hitting somebody. I was making a play and battling in the corner," said Pacioretty, who hadn't seen a replay of the hit. "I can't comment on how the hit went because I honestly don't really know. It seemed like it was a battle play."

The Sabres will try to earn a victory tonight following Thursday's 3-1 setback to the New York Rangers. Buffalo did not get its lone goal in that loss until Tyler Ennis' tally with 2:06 left to play and fell to 1-6-1 in its last eight games.

"Same problems. Another day where we've got to search for the answers," said Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan. "There's no one going to ride in here and fix it for us. We have to fix it ourselves. We have to look in the mirror at what we can do to try to correct this thing to try to make it better."

Ryan Miller gave up three goals on 31 shots in his NHL-worst 16th setback of the season. He shouldered a bulk of the blame for the loss afterwards.

"It was a better hockey game than we've seen earlier in the year and it's my job to give them a chance to be in the game and I blew that part of it. Not a lot of room for error, so we got to make it count," said Miller, who criticized himself on two of the goals he allowed.

"There's a certain standard I have to play to and that's a one-goal game with the ability for this team to tie it late and get points out of it. That's the difference tonight. I thought the guys were better as the game went on."

These two clubs met for the first time this season on Nov. 27, with the Canadiens winning a 3-1 decision in Buffalo. Miller made 28 saves in the loss, while Price notched 24 saves to earn the win.

Montreal improved to 3-1-2 in the past six meetings overall, but the Sabres have won seven of the last eight at the Bell Centre.

Miller is 25-11-6 with a 2.35 goals against average in his career versus the Habs, while Price is 11-9-7 with a 2.00 GAA lifetime when facing the Sabres.

12/07 10:36:02 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
ROC
DUR
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
HOU 4
BAL 1
Final
KAN 1
NYY 5
Final
MIA 1
PIT 5
Final
WAS 2
CHC 3
Final
CWS 9
TOR 10
Final
COL 1
CIN 2
Final
PHI 4
NYM 5
Final
SEA 7
TAM 6
Final
TEX 4
CLE 3
Final
BOS 1
MIN 2
Final
SFG 6
MIL 3
Final
ARI 4
STL 6
Final
DET 1
OAK 0
Final
SDP 4
ANA 0
Final
ATL 0
LOS 8
12:10pm Today
TEX
CLE
12:35pm Today
COL
CIN
12:35pm Today
MIA
PIT
12:37pm Today
CWS
TOR
1:05pm Today
KAN
NYY
1:10pm Today
BOS
MIN
1:10pm Today
PHI
NYM
1:10pm Today
SEA
TAM
1:40pm Today
SFG
MIL
3:35pm Today
DET
OAK
4:35pm Today
HOU
BAL
8:05pm Tonight
WAS
CHC
8:15pm Tonight
ARI
STL
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
ANA
10:10pm Tonight
ATL
LOS
1:05pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Thursday
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Thursday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Thursday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Thursday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Thursday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Thursday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
Final
ATL 88
CLE 118
9:00pm Tonight
HOU
GSW
9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
9:00pm Sunday
HOU
GSW
 
Final
NYR 7
TAM 3
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI
 
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
ROC
DUR
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR