Without their No. 1 goaltender, Buffalo tries to rebound from a blowout loss as it begins a home-and-home series with the Montreal Canadiens.
The 25-year-old rookie, however, broke his right thumb during the morning skate before Wednesday’s game against Ottawa and is expected to miss at least six weeks.
“It was a simple little shot that he went to redirect into the corner,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “It missed his blocker and smashed into his thumb.”
Biron got the start Wednesday night against the Senators, but did not last long as he allowed three goals on the first six shots he faced.
Noronen did not fare any better as the Senators scored four times on 17 shots against him before Biron came back in net to start the third period. Biron yielded another three goals and the Sabres suffered a 10-4 defeat for their third loss in four games.
“It is what it is,” Ruff said about the goaltending situation. “The goal is to get them ready for Friday night. That’s why Marty went back in there in the third.”
The Canadiens have scored nine goals in winning their last two games and are coming off a 5-4 overtime victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.
Steve Begin scored a power-play goal with 8.1 seconds left in regulation, and Michael Ryder scored his second overtime goal of the season with the man advantage to lift the Canadiens to their fifth win in seven games.
The Canadiens capitalized on the power play against Florida. After going 1-for-9 with the man advantage in Monday’s 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers, Montreal was 4-for-10 against the Panthers.
While the Sabres will have to see who emerges as their new No. 1 goalie, Jose Theodore is firmly entrenched in the net for the Canadiens. Theodore made 26 saves Tuesday and has started all but one game for Montreal this season.
These teams conclude the home-and-home set Saturday night in Montreal.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 3): Canadiens - 19 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Northeast Division. Sabres - 14 points, 4th place (tied), 6 PB, Northeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Canadiens - Ryder and Mike Ribeiro, 6 goals; Saku Koivu, 10 assists and 15 points; Mike Komisarek, 25 PIM. Sabres - Daniel Briere, 10 goals and 16 points; Thomas Vanek and Teppo Numminen, 8 assists; Jochen Hecht and Jay McKee, 12 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 3): Canadiens - Power play: 20.0 percent (18 for 90), 12th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.6 percent (76 for 92), 13th (tied). Sabres - Power play: 20.2 percent (17 for 84), 9th (tied). Penalty killing: 80.0 percent (44 for 55), 19th.
GOALTENDERS: Canadiens - Theodore (8-3-1, 3.06 GAA); Yann Danis (1-0-0, 1 SO, 1.20). Sabres - Biron (1-0-0, 6.90); Noronen (0-1-0, 7.27).
2003-04 SEASON SERIES: 3-3.
LAST MEETING: April 3, 2004; Canadiens, 6-3. At Montreal, Pierre Dagenais scored twice in the first period to lead the Canadiens.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Canadiens - 5-0-1 on the road; Sabres - 4-2-0 at home.