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Game Thread: Habs Host Sabres as Post All-Star Season Begins

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While fans in Montreal have been lamenting over the struggles of the Montreal Canadiens, hockey fans in the Empire City have been doing likewise over the Buffalo Sabres.

With just a pair of wins in their last ten games, grumblings of firing head coach Lindy Ruff or trading goalie Ryan Miller have been just as common in Buffalo as lake effect snow off Lake Erie.

The Sabres netminder, responded to his owners remarks after Monday's practice but has been giving fans every reason to cry, "Trade him!" He's 3-9-0 in his last dozen games, and absolutely nowhere near his once All-Star level ability in his last three starts (5.00 GAA, .836 SvPct).

But like Montreal, the Sabres too have had their share of injuries. They just got defencemen Christian Erhoff and Robyn Regher back before the All-Star break, and Tyler Ennis will return to the lineup tonight. They dtill have several players out of the lineup. Paul Gaustad (upper body), Jochen Hecht (concussion), Colin Stuart (knee) and Brayden McNabb (head) all remain out for Buffalo.

Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News reported Monday that McNabb had his first workout with the team Monday, and Gaustad will be a game-time decision.

Both teams are coming off wins heading into the All-Star break. The Habs decimated an unprepared Detroit Red Wings team, while the Sabres edged the New Jersey Devils 2-1 in a shootout.

The Sabres hold a 2-0 edge in the season series.

Carey Price, getting a day off from practice Monday after a grueling All-Star weekend, gets the start in goal for the Canadiens.

MONTREAL CANADIENS PROJECTED LINEUP

Forwards

Erik Cole - David Desharnais - Max Pacioretty

Mike Blunden - Lars Eller - Andrei Kostitsyn

Rene Bourque - Tomas Plekanec - Scott Gomez

Mathieu Darche - Andreas Engqvist - Yannick Weber

Defense Pairings

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban

Alexei Emelin - Tomas Kaberle

Hal Gill - Raphael Diaz

Goalies

Carey Price - Peter Budaj

Habssabres_medium

BUFFALO SABRES PROJECTED LINEUP

Forwards

Thomas Vanek - Derek Roy - Jason Pominville

Nathan Gerbe - Tyler Ennis - Drew Stafford

Patrick Kaleta - Brad Boyes - Ville Leino

Cody McCormick - Luke Adam - Paul Gaustad

Defensemen

Andrej Sekera - Tyler Myers

Robyn Regher - Mike Weber

Jordan Leopold - Christian Ehrhoff

Goalies

Ryan Miller - Jhonas Enroth

Sabres vs Canadiens coverage

SBN Sabres coverage at Die By The Blade