Game Two Preview: Habs vs. Sabres

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Game Two Preview: Habs vs. Sabres
(Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

The Montreal Canadiens will try to go 2-0 to start the 2009-10 campaign as they take on the Buffalo Sabres tonight at HSBC Arena.

For Montreal, this will be the first test to see how they do without Andrei Markov.

Just in case you've been living under a rock and hadn't heard, Markov is out 3-4 months with a torn tendon near his ankle after being sliced by Carey Price's skate on Thursday night against Toronto.

Other than the injury to Markov, Thursday was a good night as the Habs picked up a 4-3 overtime win over the Leafs. They did look a bit shaky but Carey Price stood on his head to make 43 saves for the win.

"Price gave us a chance to win," said defenceman Josh Gorges. "If it wasn't for him, the game could have easily been blown out."

The Habs will make some lineup changes tonight. Roman Hamrlik returns after battling the flu. He will take over Andrei Markov's spot on the top defensive pairing alongside Jaroslav Spacek.

Mike Cammalleri will move up and play left wing on the top line alongside Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta. Max Pacioretty who played on the first line on Thursday night, will now play on the second line with Andrei Kostitsyn and Tomas Plekanec.

Matt D'Agostini meanwhile, will sit up in the press box as a healthy scratch. Travis Moen will move up to take his spot on the third line. Filling Moen's spot on the fourth line with Glen Metropolit and Georges Laraque will be the gritty, hard hitting Gregory Stewart who will play his first game of the season.

The Buffalo Sabres meanwhile will be opening their season tonight against the Habs. Expect the top line of Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek, and Drew Stafford to try and make an impact early on. Sabres forward Jason Pominville will be hungry to score as he is only one goal away from reaching the 100 goal mark.

The Sabres will of course be backed up by the reliable Ryan Miller in net.

Buffalo won the season series against Montreal last year, winning four out of six games. The Canadiens have had a rough go of it as of late on the road in Buffalo. They have lost three straight and dropped six of their last eight games at HSBC arena.

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lines

Forwards
Cammalleri - Gomez - Gionta
A. Kostitsyn - Plekanec - Pacioretty
Latendresse - Lapierre - Moen
Stewart - Metropolit - Laraque

Scratches: Kyle Chipchura (shoulder injury), Matt D'Agostini (healthy scratch)


Defence
Hamrlik - Spacek
Gill - Mara
Gorges - O'Byrne

Goalies
Price
Halak


Buffalo Sabres Projected Lines

Forwards
Vanek - Roy - Stafford
MacArthur - Connolly - Pominville
Hecht - Gaustad - Kaleta
Kennedy - Ellis - Grier

Scratches: Daniel Paille, Toni Lydman, Nathan Paetsch

Defence
Butler - Rivet
Tallinder - Sekera
Montador - Myers

Goalies
Miller
Lalime

Game time:
7pm on CBC, RDS, MSG

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