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Canadiens vs. Sabres: Game preview, start time, Tale of the Tape, and how to watch

Can the Habs' newfound swagger get them their first win of the season series with Buffalo?

Buffalo Sabres v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images

Montreal Canadiens vs. Buffalo Sabres

How to watch

Start time: 7:30 PM EST / 4:30 PM PST
In Canada: Sportsnet East/One (English)
In the Canadiens region: RDS (French)
In the Sabres region: MSG-Buffalo
Streaming: ESPN+, NHL Live, RDS Direct, Sportsnet Now

Did you happen to catch Monday night’s matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs? Now that was a great way to start the week; so many levels of fun. The duo of Josh Anderson and Cole Caufield ran circles around the Leafs, with each player having a three-point night. The Habs defeated the Leafs 5-2, and that earned them their first winning streak of the season (yes, it took until February, but it happened).

Even Jeff Petry is finally getting in on the action with his own point streak, tallying five points in his last four games. I think it’s time we officially start calling Martin St. Louis the Habs Whisperer.

“I think to be successful as a team in this league and as an individual, I think you need some swagger and I think we’re building a lot of swagger right now,” St. Louis said after the game. “Swagger is not cockiness or arrogance. It’s just believing in yourself and feeling good about yourself. I think we have that and swagger is so important in this league to be successful.”

Tale of the Tape

Canadiens Statistics Sabres
Canadiens Statistics Sabres
11-33-7 Record 16-27-8
47.1% (24th) Scoring-chances-for % 47.1% (25th)
2.25 (32nd) Goals per game 2.67 (23rd)
3.86 (32nd) Goals against per game 3.55 (28th)
12.7% (31st) PP% 19.6% (16th)
74.1% (30th) PK% 76.8% (23rd)
0-3-0 H2H Record 3-0-0

Whatever you want to call it, it’s working. For a team that became so painful to watch because they were struggling, confused, frustrated, and looked like they’d flat-out given up, that little bit of swagger looks like just what the doctor ordered.

There’s so much confidence that Nick Suzuki pulled an Alexander Romanov on 6’3” Justin Holl. And it was lovely.

The Sabres are coming off a 7-3 thumping at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday. Let’s hope they don’t have any pent-up anger to take out on the Canadiens tonight. Buffalo was without all-star defenceman Rasmus Dahlin, who has 33 points in 49 games, after he was sidelined with a lower-body injury he sustained during Saturday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche. It was also the second game of a back-to-back, but really, that’s no excuse. Just ask Montreal. However, Dahlin took to the ice with his team during Tuesday’s practice and may be in good enough shape to head to the Bell Centre after all.

While the Canadiens’ netminders are giving everyone a sense of security that we haven’t felt since before Jake Allen was injured, they may be facing Ville Husso again who is currently at the top of the leaderboard with a 1.97 goals-against average. And if Dahlin returns, the Habs will have one more obstacle to get through. That all being said, Andrew Hammond has a 1.85 GAA. Nevermind that he’s only played one game. Stats don’t lie.

For those unable to take joy in the Canadiens’ newfound gelling because they have their eyes glued to the standings in hopes for the top draft pick, don’t worry, they’re still dead last, so you may as well allow yourself a bit of fun while we’re here.

The Sabres are sitting just four spots ahead of the Canadiens, which should promise a pretty even matchup, except that the Habs haven’t beaten the Sabres in any of the three meetings they’ve had so far this season. Buffalo has pummelled the Habs, scoring at least four goals in each contest, while the most Montreal was able to fight back with was three.

But, that was before the Canadiens discovered their swagger.