Montreal (1-1-1) at Buffalo (1-2-1)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Buffalo, NY
Temp: 65° F
  • Game info: 7:30 pm EDT Fri Oct 15, 2010
  • TV: RDS, MSG
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Montreal Canadiens pushed Carey Price(notes) into the No. 1 goaltender role by trading Jaroslav Halak(notes) during the offseason.

While Price has been up to the challenge, his teammates have been giving him little protection.

The Canadiens head to Buffalo to face the struggling Sabres on Friday night in a likely matchup of goalies looking for defensive help.

Price made 43 saves in a 4-3 overtime loss to Tampa Bay on Wednesday. He’s faced 110 shots, the most of any goaltender who has started three or fewer games.

“(Price) played a great game for us. We weren’t as solid in front of him,” defenseman Hal Gill(notes) said. “We didn’t do what we had to do, we didn’t do the little things (Wednesday) and we have to be better next time. He made a lot of big saves from tough angles with a lot of traffic.”

Price, the beneficiary of the trade of Halak to St. Louis in June, has posted a 2.95 goals-against average.

The Canadiens (1-1-1) allowed 38 shots in a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday and 27 in a 3-2 season-opening loss to Toronto, ranking them 27th in the NHL with 36.7 shots allowed per game.

Amid the heavy workload, Price knows his club can’t continue to struggle in its own end.

“It’s not about me, it’s about the team,” Price said after Wednesday’s contest. “We took too many penalties and we can’t do that. I thought we had a chance to win the game and we couldn’t take advantage. We just needed to play a little tighter.”

While Montreal’s defense in front of Price is a concern, Buffalo is having trouble providing offense for Ryan Miller(notes).

The Vezina Trophy winner stopped 34 shots against New Jersey on Wednesday, but allowed Ilya Kovalchuk’s(notes) overtime goal in a 1-0 loss. The Sabres (1-2-1) have dropped three straight - all at home - after opening the season with a win at Ottawa.

It’s the first time since 1993-94 that Buffalo has lost its first three home games.

Defenseman Tyler Myers(notes), the Calder Trophy winner last season, has one point and is second-to-last in the league with a minus-6 rating.

“We’re four games in, and there isn’t anything to freak out about,” Myers said. “We had a lot of chances, we just didn’t put them in.”

Derek Roy(notes), the Sabres’ leading scorer the past two seasons, has a goal and four assists centering the top line with Drew Stafford(notes) and Jordan Hecht. Tyler Ennis(notes) is second among NHL rookies with four points.

The Sabres will again be without forward Jason Pominville(notes), whose streak of 336 consecutive games ended Wednesday after he sustained a concussion against Chicago on Monday.

Shaone Morrison will also be out after suffering a groin injury against the Devils. He’s expected to miss two games.

Miller went 4-1-1 with a 1.97 GAA and a shutout against the Canadiens last season.

Buffalo will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the franchise’s first home game, which coincidentally was against Montreal on Oct. 15, 1970.

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Friday, Oct 15