The Montreal Canadiens had every reason to be up for Saturday's matchup against the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre, as they looked to avenge the dubious penalty call that cost them Friday's game.
But nothing worked as planned for the Habs, who looked disorganized in falling 3-0 to the Sabres.
After Jaroslav Spacek and Thomas Vanek gave Buffalo an early lead, the Sabres sat back and defended Jocelyn Thibault's shutout. Thibault was playing in place of Ryan Miller for the second game in two nights.
Jochen Hecht added an empty-net goal for the Sabres during the last minute of the game.
Saturday's meeting was the fifth of the season between Montreal and Buffalo, with the Sabres having won the last three. After struggling to find their rythm early on, the Sabres now sit at .500 on the season.
Without Daniel Briere and Chris Drury, Buffalo has relied on depth and teamwork to succeed. Night-in and night-out, the Sabres put their full effort into each and every shift—and the results are beginning to speak for themselves.
The Sabres have outworked the Habs in each of their four meetings. There's no doubt that Montreal has the more talented team, but the work ethic just isn't there.
The Habs slip into cruise control too often to produce meaningful winning streaks. They'll need to get more serious about their effort if they want to make the playoffs.
That's Guy Carbonneau's task, in the end: to get the whip out and drive this team to its full potential.
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