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Canadiens Pre Game

Canadiens Game 56: Ylonen And Harris Return To Habs Lineup



Montreal canadiens buffalo sabres

The Montreal Canadiens (22-25-8) will host the Buffalo Sabres (24-27-4) on Wednesday night at the Bell Centre. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 pm ET.

The Habs are looking to rebound after losses to the New York Rangers and the Washington Capitals, games in which they managed to control the scoring chances and flow of the game at 5v5.

Of course, moral victories don’t count in the standings, but it’s important to remember the Canadiens are still trying to establish their identity as they attempt to take the next step in the long-term rebuild plan.

They won’t win every game, but there’s some value to be found in losses that also feature strong efforts.

For now, we know the Canadiens have at least one very good line in Juraj Slafkovsky, Nick Suzuki, and Cole Caufield. On top of finding the back of the net with regularity, the line also controls the momentum whenever they’re on the ice, as evidenced by their strong underlying number, which points to sustainable offence.

Against the Capitals we saw another potential line emerge, as Joshua Roy, Alex Newhook, and Joel Armia combined for several strong shifts and a pair of goals. Unfortunately, their strong work was undone by the play of Josh Anderson, Jake Evans, and Tanner Pearson. The line was on the ice for 11 high-danger chances by Washington while generating none of their own.

Such is life in a rebuild.

There are a few changes to expect on Wednesday as forward Jesse Ylonen will return to the lineup, while Michael Pezzetta watches the game from the press box. Defenceman Jordan Harris will play, with Johnathan Kovacevic serving as a healthy scratch.

Goaltender Samuel Montembeault will be given the start against the Sabres.

As for the Sabres, they have managed to bank 52 points in 55 games, exactly like the Canadiens. But unlike the Canadiens, it was not part of the plan.

The Sabres continue to struggle to get results, seemingly stuck in a never-ending rebuild without much chance for escape. It’s a healthy reminder that not every rebuild will be successful and that sometimes taking the next step is a rather difficult endeavour that takes time and patience.

On that note, the Sabres do have a fair amount of talent throughout the lineup. Players like Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin, Casey Mittelstadt, Zach Benson, and Alex Tuch possess high-end talent,  whereas Jeff Skinner has a penchant for scoring whenever he plays against the Habs.

Skinner has 26 goals and 20 assists in just 41 games versus Montreal, far and away his most productive scoring pace against a particular team.

Montreal Canadiens Injuries

  • Carey Price (IR)
  • Chris Wideman (IR)
  • Kirby Dach (out indefinitely, ACL/MCL)
  • Rafael Harvey-Pinard (4-6 weeks)
  • Christian Dvorak (out)

Buffalo Sabres Injuries

  • Victor Olofsson (out)
  • Owen Power (IR)
  • Jack Quinn (IR)
  • Mattias Samuelsson (IR)

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup

Cole CaufieldNick SuzukiJuraj Slafkovsky
Brendan GallagherAlex NewhookJoel Armia
Jesse YlonenJake EvansJosh Anderson
Michael PezzettaChristian DvorakRafael Harvey-Pinard
Mike MathesonJustin Barron
Lane HutsonDavid Savard
Jordan HarrisLogan Mailloux
Samuel Montembeault
Cayden Primeau


Buffalo Sabres Projected Lineup

Skinner  – Thompson – Tuch

Greenway – Mittelstadt – Cozens

Benson – Krebs – Peterka

Robinson – Girgensons – Okposo


Dahlin – Jokiharju

Byrson – Clifton

Clague – Johnson




How to Watch Or Listen


Sportsnet, RDS


Montreal Candiens: TSN 690