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Canadiens play host to Miller-less Sabres

The Montreal Canadiens will shoot for a third straight victory and their seventh win in nine games when they welcome the rival Buffalo Sabres for tonight's Northeast Division clash at the Bell Centre.

Montreal began this season with a 1-5-2 record through eight games, marking the Habs' worst start to a campaign since 1941-42. However, the Canadiens have since recorded six victories in eight trips to the ice and the club has posted overtime wins in each of its last two contests.

Meanwhile, the Sabres will try to rebound from Saturday's lopsided loss in Boston. Buffalo had won four in a row before getting slammed by the Bruins, 6-2, at TD Garden. Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller also suffered a concussion in that setback and will be out indefinitely.

Buffalo has gotten the better of the Canadiens in recent matchups, winning the last four encounters, including a 3-1 decision in Montreal on Oct. 18. The Sabres have claimed eight of 12 overall in the series and have also taken three in a row and six of their last eight in Quebec.

The Canadiens recorded both of their recent overtime victories on the road, as Josh Gorges scored the game-winner in Thursday's 3-2 win at Phoenix and Max Pacioretty netted the OT goal in Nashville on Saturday.

Pacioretty, who leads Montreal with seven goals this year, tallied 2:31 into the extra session to lift the Habs to a 2-1 decision in the Music City. Pacioretty lifted a wrister from the left circle that handcuffed Pekka Rinne as it sailed into the top left corner.

David Desharnais tallied the other goal for Montreal, while Peter Budaj made 25 saves to earn the win in a rare start. Budaj is 1-1-0 in two starts this year as the backup to Montreal's workhorse Carey Price.

"The guys played great in front of me," said Budaj. "It was a huge OT goal from Patch and a big, big two points for the team."

Price, who is 8-6-5 with a 1.96 goals-against average in his career against Buffalo, is expected to be back between the pipes tonight.

Canadiens forward Mike Cammalleri was back in action on Saturday after missing the game in Phoenix with a lower body injury. However, fellow winger Andrei Kostitsyn sat out a third straight game Saturday with a lower body issue and he is questionable for tonight's tilt.

Montreal is just 2-4-2 as the host this year and is playing the first of two straight on home ice tonight. The Habs will also welcome Carolina on Wednesday.

Buffalo will try to bounce back tonight after getting routed by the Bruins on Saturday. Tyler Seguin had two goals and an assist as Boston pushed its win streak to five games with the easy win.

Thomas Vanek and Marc-Andre Gragnani both scored for the Sabres, while Miller made 19 saves through two periods, before giving way to Jhonas Enroth, who stopped just 10-of-13 shots in the third.

Miller sustained the head injury in Saturday's game after a collision with Boston's Milan Lucic in the first period. Buffalo's goaltender came out of his crease and beat Lucic to a loose puck, but the big Bruins forward delivered a hard check on an unsuspecting Miller. Lucic was given two minutes for charging on the play and Miller, who stayed in the game through the first two periods, called the Bruin "gutless" after the game.

Enroth will get the start tonight and the 23-year-old Swede will serve as the club's No. 1 netminder while Miller is sidelined. Drew MacIntyre has been called up from Rochester of the AHL to serve as the backup.

The Sabres are 5-2-0 as the road team this year and are completing a brief two-game trip tonight.