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

Will the Habs get a better result in Buffalo than in the first meeting between the clubs?

Montreal Canadiens v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

Montreal Canadiens @ Buffalo Sabres

How to watch

Start time: 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Sabres region: MSG Buffalo
Streaming: ESPN+, NHL Live, RDS Direct, TSN Direct

Both the Canadiens and Sabres had higher hopes when the season started than finishing near the bottom of the Atlantic Division, but now six weeks in, that’s where they find themselves, with the playoffs a distant dream. Neither club has been able to keep its best roster on the ice, and some key absences have proven critical ones.

You only need to look in goal tonight to see the biggest issues for both clubs. The Canadiens will be starting their third-string goaltender, Samuel Montembeault, in order to save their backup-turned-starter for tomorrow night, while Dustin Tokarski enters the net for Buffalo on a short leash. He was pulled from his last two starts, before the tables were turned as he came on in relief in the last game on Wednesday.

Offensively, it’s Artturi Lehkonen versus Tage Thompson to see which player can keep his hot hand; just like everyone imagined at the start of the year. One of the main reasons why Montreal’s plucky Finn is leading the way is because he’s able to do a lot of the work himself, bypassing a defence corps that hasn’t been playing much of a role in the offence or transition game (or in the defence either, if we’re being honest). In a bid to help them out, Dominique Ducharme is bringing Mattias Norlinder back into the fold, holding him as a seventh defenceman at the expense of Cédric Paquette, not ready to give the rookie blue-liner a spot on a pairing just yet.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Tyler Toffoli Nick Suzuki Cole Caufield
Jonathan Drouin Christian Dvorak Josh Anderson
Artturi Lehkonen Jake Evans Brendan Gallagher
Ryan Poehling Joel Armia

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Ben Chiarot Jeff Petry
Alexander Romanov David Savard
Sami Niku Chris Wideman
Mattias Norlinder

Goaltenders

Starter Backup
Starter Backup
Samuel Montembeault Jake Allen

Buffalo Sabres projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Jeff Skinner Tage Thompson Victor Olofsson
Anders Bjork Zemgus Girgensons Rasmus Asplund
Arttu Ruotsalainen Dylan Cozens Kyle Okposo
Vinnie Hinostroza Cody Eakin John Hayden

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Rasmus Dahlin Mark Pysyk
Jacob Bryson Henri Jokiharju
Robert Hagg Colin Miller

Goaltenders

Starter Backup
Starter Backup
Dustin Tokarski Aaron Dell