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Canadiens vs. Sabres: Game thread, rosters, lines, and how to watch

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Habs get a huge boost as Price returns to the lineup.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens will have a familiar face back on the ice when they host the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night at the Bell Centre. All-star goaltender Carey Price, who hasn't played a game since November 2 because of a lower-body injury, will get the nod between the pipes for the Canadiens (8-12-3). The Habs are hoping to break a five-game losing streak, with their last victory coming November 11 against this same Sabres team.

The Sabres (6-13-4) just ended a seven-game losing streak of their own yesterday evening when they played a disappointing Edmonton Oilers team, walking away with a 3-1 victory. Forward Kyle Okposo had a goal and an assist in the victory, and their leading point getter, Evander Kane, and defender Rasmus Ristolainen each had a pair of assists. It was Ristolainen's first game back after missing nine with a lower-body injury.

With Price returning to the lineup, the Canadiens brass decided to send rookie goaltender Charlie Lindgren back to the team's AHL affiliate, the Laval Rocket. Lindgren (3-4-1) played in eight straight games while Price and backup Al Montoya were on the shelf, and despite the losing record, still had a very respectable 2.43 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage, including his first career NHL shutout.

Montreal's last game saw them claw back late in the third against the Nashville Predators on Wednesday evening. After defenceman Jordie Benn's second of the season opened the scoring, two power-play goals by standout Predator forward Filip Forsberg put them up by one, Montreal battled. It was in the last minute of regulation when blue-liner Joe Morrow threw a puck at the net and it somehow eluded Pekka Rinne to square the game up at two apiece.

Once overtime solved nothing, recent Nashville acquisition Kyle Turris made no mistake in the shootout, getting a shot through the legs of Habs netminder Antti Niemi to give them the win.

The Canadiens are hoping that playing against Buffalo for the third time this season will give them a morale boost in itself, as both previous meeting were won by the Tricolore. On opening night, Jonathan Drouin got the shootout winner, taking it 3-2. Then, on November 11, Montreal's captain Max Pacioretty got the overtime game-winning goal, and added an assist as they took the game 2-1. Pacioretty has gone pointless since that game, and is a minus-8 on the stat sheet, and that’s something he will hope to change this evening.

Rookie defenceman Jakub Jerabek, who played his first NHL game on Wednesday night, will be back in the lineup as all-star Shea Weber is still not able to play.

Puck drop at the Bell Centre is at 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST.

How to watch

In Canada: Sportsnet, Sportsnet Now (English), TVAS (French)
In the Sabres region: MSG-B
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL GameCentre Live, NHL Center Ice

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Alex Galchenyuk Jonathan Drouin Paul Byron
Max Pacioretty Phillip Danault Andrew Shaw
Charles Hudon Tomas Plekanec Brendan Gallagher
Nicolas Deslauriers Jacob de la Rose Byron Froese

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Karl Alzner Jeff Petry
Joe Morrow Jordie Benn
Victor Mete Jakub Jerabek

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Carey Price
Antti Niemi

Scratched: Brandon Davidson

Injured: Ales Hemsky (concussion-like symptoms), Al Montoya (concussion), Nikita Scherbak (lower body), Artturi Lehkonen (lower body), Shea Weber (lower body)

Buffalo Sabres projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Evander Kane Jack Eichel Jason Pominville
Benoit Pouliot Ryan O'Reilly Sam Reinhart
Zemgus Girgensons Johan Larsson Kyle Criscuolo
Jordan Nolan Jacob Josefson Kyle Okposo

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Marco Scandella Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe Viktor Antipin
Nathan Beaulieu Justin Falk

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Chad Johnson
Robin Lehner