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

Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Game 56: Montreal Canadiens vs. Buffalo Sabres

Start time: 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
In Canada: Sportsnet (English)
In the Canadiens region: RDS (French)
In the Sabres region: MSG Buffalo
Streaming: ESPN+, RDS, Sportsnet+

Two teams that haven’t done a lot of winning of late meet at the Bell Centre. At this point, well back of the playing picture, not winning has become the goal for the fanbases who want the highest possible odds entering the draft lottery. The Sabres have lost four of six matches since Rasmus Dahlin returned from the All-Star Game, and though Nick Suzuki’s personal game took off after playing among the league’s elite, his team has not, with the same success as Buffalo.

In the three days off there have been since the last Canadiens loss, the team has been working on defence, needing to show improvement not for this season, but next year when the club should be fighting harder for a playoff spot. Opposing teams have run them over in the defensive end recently, and Martin St-Louis knows he needs to solve the issue.

Jeff Skinner will offer a test run of the new strategies. He’s scored in all three games player so far and had four points in a 6-1 on January 4 that erased all the good that Montreal had shown on its holiday road trip. Samuel Montembeault receives the call to try to slow him down, Jordan Harris is back in after his concussion to stabilize the defence, and Jesse Ylönen takes up his spot once more after a couple of games off as the Canadiens try a slightly more creative approach in the bottom six.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#22 Cole Caufield #14 Nick Suzuki #20 Juraj Slafkovský
#89 Joshua Roy #35 Alex Newhook #17 Josh Anderson
#40 Joel Armia #71 Jake Evans #11 Brendan Gallagher
#70 Tanner Pearson #74 Brandon Gignac #56 Jesse Ylönen
Left Defence Right Defence
#8 Mike Matheson #21 Kaiden Guhle
#72 Arber Xhekaj #58 David Savard
#47 Jayden Struble $54 Jordan Harris
Starter Backup
#35 Samuel Montembeault #34 Jake Allen

Injured: Kirby Dach, Christian Dvorak, Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, Chris Wideman
Scratched: Johnny Kovacevic, Michael Pezzetta, Cayden Primeau

Buffalo Sabres projected lineup

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Jeff Skinner Tage Thompson Alex Tuch
Jordan Greenway Casey Mittelstadt Dylan Cozens
Zach Benson Peyton Krebs JJ Peterka
Eric Robinson Zemgus Girgensons Kyle Okposo
Left Defence Right Defence
Rasmus Dahlin Henri Jokiharju
Jacob Bryson Connor Clifton
Kale Clague Erik Johnson
Starter Backup
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen Eric Comrie

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