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Canadiens Pre Game

Canadiens Game 27: Primeau Starts, Armia To Play Versus Buffalo

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Montreal Canadiens prospect Cayden Primeau

The Montreal Canadiens (11-12-3) are in Buffalo to face the Sabres (11-14-2) at the KeyBank Center on Saturday night. The puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET.

The Habs are coming off another 4-0 loss against the Los Angeles Kings, but unlike their first outing against the high-flying Western Conference team, they weren’t outclassed throughout the entirety of the game.

It may not seem like much, but it’s an important step for a rebuilding team such as the Canadiens. They don’t have the talent to match a team like the Kings, but they do need to provide an honest effort, even in losing causes.

Juraj Slafkovsky had another solid outing on the top line alongside Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield. Despite the lack of production, he has been playing the best hockey of his young career in the last few weeks.

However, playing on the top line means you eventually have to generate some offence, and despite the solid play of the trio in recent games, head coach Martin St-Louis will surely want to see them inscribe their names on the scoresheet.

Joel Armia was spotted practicing on the fourth line, which means that Michael Pezzetta will probably watch the game against the Sabres from the press box as a healthy scratch.

Goaltender Cayden Primeau will be given the start for the Canadiens in a bid to improve his trade value around the NHL. Veteran Jake Allen, who has only started three games since November 18th, is also available to teams on the NHL’s trade market, but given his age, there are better odds the Canadiens manage to move Primeau, who is just 24 years old.

If Primeau is to garner any serious attention from teams looking to improve their goaltending situation he will have to do a better job stopping shots on his glove side. Primeau allowed five glove-side goals during his last start, a 5-1 loss to the Florida Panthers.

MUST READ: Canadiens GM Kent Hughes Must Resolve Goaltending Situation

As for the Sabres, they continue to fail to meet expectations. They’re currently seventh in the Atlantic Division despite aiming to finally earn a playoff berth. The last time the Sabres made the playoffs was way back in 2010-11.

That being said, we can’t ignore their laundry list of injuries. Buffalo is one of the few teams in the NHL that almost has as many players as the Canadiens in the infirmary.

Casey Mittelstadt leads the Sabres in scoring with six goals and 16 assists in 27 games, followed closely by defenceman Rasmus Dahlin, who has earned 21 points in 26 games.

Dahlin is expected to face the Canadiens. There was some concern he would miss the game due to a lingering lower-body injury. Goaltender Devon Levi is likely to earn the start for the Sabres.

Montreal Canadiens Injuries

  • David Savard (out 6-8 weeks)
  • Carey Price (IR)
  • Chris Wideman (IR)
  • Kirby Dach (out indefinitely, ACL/MCL)
  • Rafael Harvey-Pinard (IR)
  • Jordan Harris (out indefinitely)
  • Alex Newhook (out 10-12 weeks)

Buffalo Sabres Injuries

  • Rasmus Dahlin (day-to-day)
  • Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (out)
  • Jordan Greenway (IR)
  • Alex Tuch (IR)
  • Zemgus Girgensons (IR)
  • Jack Quinn (IR)

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup

LWCRW
Cole CaufieldNick SuzukiJuraj Slafkovsky
Brendan GallagherAlex NewhookJoel Armia
Jesse YlonenJake EvansJosh Anderson
Michael PezzettaChristian DvorakRafael Harvey-Pinard
LDRD
Mike MathesonDavid Savard
Jordan HarrisJohnathan Kovacevic
Jayden StrubleJustin Barron
Goalie
Cayden Primeau
Samuel Montembeault

 

Buffalo Sabres Projected Lineup

Skinner – Mittelstadt – Thompson

Benson – Cozens – Peterka

Rosen – Jost – Olofsson

Robinson – Krebs – Okposo

Defence

Dahlin – Samuelsson

Power – Jokiharju

Clifton – Johnson

Goalie

Levi

 

How to Watch Or Listen

TV

TVA Sport, HNIC

Radio

Montreal Candiens: TSN 690