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Buffalo Sabres vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL Picks | Preview

2011 NHL Hockey Free Predictions: Sabres vs Canadiens

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Buffalo Sabres (35-28-9) at Montreal Canadiens (40-26-7)
Date/Time: Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 7:30 PM ET
Venue: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
Broadcast: RDS (HD), TSN (HD), MSG-B (HD)
Sabres vs. Habs Betting Lines from Sportsbook.com
Spread: OFF
Moneyline: Buffalo +110: Montreal -130
Over/Under: 5.5 goals
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The Buffalo Sabres will look to keep their tenuous grip on eighth place in the Eastern Conference on Tuesday night when they travel to Montreal to take on a Canadiens squad that suddenly finds themselves one point behind Boston for first in the Northeast Division and third place in the Eastern Conference. With ten games left for both teams, there is plenty on the line in their Tuesday night showdown.

The Sabres have a little breathing room in the East thanks to a 5-3-2 streak in their last 10 games. They are three points up on the Carolina Hurricanes and are three points back of the New York Rangers for seventh in the East. The offense has been doing its job – now it’s time for Ryan Miller to start stealing a few games for the Sabres.

Buffalo has the seventh ranked offense in the NHL with an average of just over 2.9 goals for per game. Tyler Ennis has led the way with seven goals and five assists in his last 13 games while names like Mark Mancari, Nathan Gerbe and Tim Connolly have also been solid. Thomas Vanek has been conspicuously absent on the Hot List but it is only a matter of time before he emerges from his mini-funk.

Ryan Miller hasn’t been bad but he hasn’t been great either. He and the Sabres own the 20th ranked defense in the league and allow an average of 2.9 goals per game. Against Montreal this season, Miller is 1-2-0 with a 1.99 goals against average.

The Montreal Canadiens are creeping up the Eastern Conference standings. They enter Tuesday night’s game in sixth place, only one point behind Boston for the Northeast Division lead and ultimately the third seed in the East. They are also just two points behind Tampa Bay for fifth in the East. Montreal is 7-3-0 in their last 10 games overall.

Montreal has been scoring some goals lately – they have moved up to 20th in the NHL and average a little over 2.7 goals per game. They will be without Tomas Plekanec and Jeff Halpern once again but David Desharnais and Benoit Pouliot have picked up the slack with four points apiece in their last two games. Andrei Kostitsyn has 12 points in 13 games, Mike Cammalleri has three points in two games and PK Subban is coming off his first career Hat Trick. Things are definitely looking up offensively for the Habs.

Carey Price has been just OK in alternating wins and losses in his last six starts. He got the night off in an 8-1 win over the Wild and should be good to go on Tuesday. He is 1-1-0 in his last three starts with a 5.04 goals against average but is 3-0-2 this season versus Buffalo with a 1.57 goals against average.

Betting Prediction: The Buffalo Sabres are 19-12-5 on the road this season but have gone 10-4 in their last 14 away from home. The Montreal Canadiens are 22-9-6 at home this season and hare 8-3 in their last 11 games overall.

The Canadiens will have a difficult time without Tomas Plekanec and Jeff Halpern in the lineup but expectations are that Carey Price is ready to once again be the dominant force that we have come to expect. Price will outplay a struggling Ryan Miller allowing the Habs to put even more pressure on Boston in the Northeast.

Pick: Montreal Canadiens -130

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Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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