NHL PREVIEWS |

Montreal Canadiens vs. Buffalo Sabres Preview and Predictions 01-30-2020


The Buffalo Sabres came out of the All-Star break well-rested and facing a schedule that is conducive to climbing back into contention for a postseason bid. However, the Sabres flopped badly in a 5-2 home loss to the Ottawa Senators and will look to rebound against another Atlantic Division foe when they host the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

Advice: Do you want to bet on NHL? Check our Sportsbooks Review

Tuesday's loss kicked off a stretch of nine home games in the next 10 for Buffalo, which also lost top netminder Linus Ullmark for at least three weeks due to a knee injury. "Adversity is something you need to look in the eyes and you need to be strong about," Sabres coach Ralph Krueger told reporters. "You need to use it, and that's what we'll do here." The Canadiens, who are tied with the Sabres in points, won four of five entered the break but were unable to keep pace with NHL-leading Washington in Monday's 4-2 home loss. The flu is going through Montreal's locker room and coach Claude Julien acknowledged "we're in a desperate situation where you cross your fingers that everybody's going to be ready to go."

TIME: 7 p.m. ET. TV: MSG Buffalo, RDS, TSN2

ABOUT THE CANADIENS (22-22-7): Montreal is expected to receive an offensive boost with the likely return of 15-goal scorer Brendan Gallagher, who has been sidelined for 10 of the last 11 games due to a concussion. Jonathan Drouin, out since mid-November after undergoing wrist surgery, practiced for a second straight day Wednesday and will travel with the team but is not ready to return to the lineup. There are also questions about the status of forwards Max Domi and Artturi Lehkonen (illness), who each missed practice Wednesday.

ABOUT THE SABRES (22-21-7): Ullmark, who supplanted Carter Hutton as the No. 1 goalie in November, had to exit Tuesday's game when he landed awkwardly on his right knee and is expected to be sidelined for three to four weeks. Krueger did not announce a starter for Thursday's matchup but is expected to go with Hutton, who is mired in an 11-start winless drought and has surrendered a staggering 17 goals in his last three starts. "I don't think anyone inside this room has ever doubted me or anything like that," Hutton told reporters Wednesday.

OVERTIME

1. Sabres captain Jack Eichel, who set a career high with his 29th goal Tuesday, scored twice and set up two others in a 5-4 win over Montreal on Oct. 9.

2. Canadiens F Ilya Kovalchuk has four goals and eight points in nine games since signing as a free agent with Montreal.

3. Buffalo has won four of the past five meetings, including the last three at home.

Prediction

Free Daily Lock Pick: NCAAB: Texas A&M vs. Alabama - February 19th - (100% Confidence Release)

News Breaking News

News Recaps

Key Players to Watch

Stadium

First Niagara Center
Buffalo, New York, USA.
Capacity: 19,070

Buy Tickets

no tickets found.

Last Injuries

Buffalo Sabres

  • Marco Scandella

    Acquired
    Prob Thurs | probable

    Scandella was recently acquired via trade, but he is likely to make his team debut Thursday against the Coyotes.

  • Michael Frolik

    Illness
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Frolik has sat out the previous two games due to an illness, and it is unknown if he will take part in Saturday's matchup versus the Penguins.

  • Johan Larsson

    Undisclosed
    Prob Tues | probable

    Larsson is tending to an unspecified ailment, but he is expected to face the Senators on Tuesday.

  • Marcus Johansson

    Upper Body
    Prob Sun | probable

    Johansson missed the last game due to an upper-body injury, but he is expected to rejoin the lineup Sunday against the Maple Leafs.

  • Carter Hutton

    Undisclosed
    Prob Sun | probable

    Hutton is tending to an undefined ailment, but he is expected to guard the crease versus the Maple Leafs on Sunday.

  • Kyle Okposo

    Upper Body
    Prob Thurs | probable

    Okposo has been activated from the injured reserve list due after recuperating from ab upper-body ailment, and it is projected that he will return Thursday versus the Blue Jackets.

  • Victor Olofsson

    Lower Body
    Prob Thurs | probable

    Olofsson has been activated from the injured reserve list after healing from a lower-body injury, and it is likely that he will return against the Blue Jackets on Thursday.

  • Carter Hutton

    Personal
    Prob Tues | probable

    Hutton missed the last game due to family circumstances, but it is projected that he will be ready to return Tuesday against the Red Wings.

Montreal Canadiens

  • Brendan Gallagher

    Lower Body
    Ques Thurs | questionable

    Gallagher sat out the previous game due to a lower-body injury, and it is up in the air if he will line up Thursday against the Capitals.

  • Victor Mete

    Foot
    Ques Thurs | questionable

    Mete departed the last game due to a left foot injury, and it is unclear if he will play against the Capitals on Thursday.

  • Shea Weber

    Ankle
    Prob Tues | probable

    Weber has been activated from the injured reserve list after healing from a sprained ankle, and it is likely that he will return to action Tuesday against the Red Wings.

  • Nate Thompson

    Illness
    Prob Tues | probable

    Thompson sat out the previous game due to illness, but he is likely to line up versus the Red Wings on Tuesday.

  • Jonathan Drouin

    Ankle
    Prob Tues | probable

    Drouin missed the last game with an ankle injury, but it is likely he will face the Red Wings on Tuesday.

  • Paul Byron

    Knee
    Prob Tues | probable

    Byron has been taken off of the injured reserve list after recovering from knee surgery. He is likely to draw back into the lineup against the Red Wings on Tuesday.

  • Jordan Weal

    Flu
    Out indefinitely | out

    Weal has been sidelined due to flu-like symptoms, and a timetable for return has yet to be established.

  • Tomas Tatar

    Hand
    Prob Fri | probable

    Tatar is expected to face the Penguins on Friday despite a hand injury.

buffalo-sabres Stats 2019-2020

Offensive
Player GP G GWG GO GP1 GP2 Gp3 GPP GSH PPP PSH SHI SHOT
Player GP G GWG GO GP1 GP2 Gp3 GPP GSH PPP PSH SHI SHOT
Statistics
Player GP GS FL FW H L W OL PM
Player GP GS FL FW H L W OL PM
Assits
Player GP GS A APP ASH
Player GP GS A APP ASH
Defense
Player GP GS GA GAA GP1A GP2A GP3A GOA SA SOA SP1A SP2A SP3A BS
Player GP GS GA GAA GP1A GP2A GP3A GOA SA SOA SP1A SP2A SP3A BS
Shutouts
Player GP GS SHU SHUA SHUS SHUL
Player GP GS SHU SHUA SHUS SHUL
Time on ice
Player GP GS TOIESS TOIPPS TOIS TOISHS
Player GP GS TOIESS TOIPPS TOIS TOISHS

montreal-canadiens Stats 2019-2020

Offensive
Player GP G GWG GO GP1 GP2 Gp3 GPP GSH PPP PSH SHI SHOT
Player GP G GWG GO GP1 GP2 Gp3 GPP GSH PPP PSH SHI SHOT
Statistics
Player GP GS FL FW H L W OL PM
Player GP GS FL FW H L W OL PM
Assits
Player GP GS A APP ASH
Player GP GS A APP ASH
Defense
Player GP GS GA GAA GP1A GP2A GP3A GOA SA SOA SP1A SP2A SP3A BS
Player GP GS GA GAA GP1A GP2A GP3A GOA SA SOA SP1A SP2A SP3A BS
Shutouts
Player GP GS SHU SHUA SHUS SHUL
Player GP GS SHU SHUA SHUS SHUL
Time on ice
Player GP GS TOIESS TOIPPS TOIS TOISHS
Player GP GS TOIESS TOIPPS TOIS TOISHS