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TIME TO SHAKE THE BAD HAB-ITS

Friday, 02.17.2012 / 1:02 PM
By Kevin Snow - Sabres.com (@kwsnow) / THE MORNING SKATE
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THE MORNING SKATE
TIME TO SHAKE THE BAD HAB-ITS
LINEUP NEWS
- The team held a meeting this morning, with only a handful of players skating afterwards.
- Ryan Miller is expected to start in goal.
- Cody McCormick will miss his fourth straight game due to injury.

WHAT THEY WERE SAYING
Lindy Ruff (click to hear full audio)
What is the team’s spirit like after last night’s game?
Mentally, we obviously let that game slip away. Some of it was mental mistakes. And I’ll stick to the fact that our defense as a group didn’t play well in front of our goaltenders and that really hurt us.

How do you help them improve their mental toughness?
I think it’s by the repetition of staying with it. We showed some situation clips and some system clips that we got away from. I think part of it is on the forward front is the frustration in the lack of scoring. We got the 2-0 lead, and we got a little but away from our system. You still have to play well in your own end. You still have to make sure that when you’re forechecking, if a couple of guys get caught, the third guy has got to stay high. We cheated in a few situations and it cost us dearly.

Jason Pominville (click to hear full audio)
Despite the three straight losses, what gives you the belief that you can move up the standings?
That there’s still a lot of points available, there’s still a lot of games to be played. Like I said last night, it was probably one of worst efforts defensively all year. But we’re right back at it tonight against a team that’s right there with us battling for their lives. Tonight is a game we have to win. Losing three games in a row is just not good enough at any time of year, but even more so at this time.

T
ONIGHT’S GAME
CANADIENS at SABRES

-Fourth of six meetings between the Sabres and Canadiens this season.
-Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Montreal, 3-1, in Montreal on Jan. 31.
-The teams meet next on Monday, March 12 in Buffalo.
-The Sabres are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Canadiens; 6-2-2 at home.
-This is the 251st game all-time between Buffalo and Montreal; the Sabres are 114-100-36 against the Canadiens (66-34-23 at home).

STORYLINES
-The Sabres have won their last six games against the Canadiens, dating back to Nov. 27, 2010 (3-1 loss). Buffalo’s record for most consecutive wins against Montreal is nine, from Oct. 30, 1983 to Oct. 11, 1984.
-Buffalo has already won all three of this season’s matchups between these teams in Montreal.
-Tonight’s meeting between the Sabres and Canadiens marks the 251st game between the two teams. The Sabres are 114-100-36 in these games. Buffalo has only faced Boston more times (260 GP).

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Jason Pominville enters tonight’s game on a six-game point streak (5+2)… Pominville is the sixth player in Sabres history to record 30 assists in six consecutive seasons… Buffalo is 20-3-2 when allowing two or fewer goals and 19-4-2 when scoring three or more.

LEADING THE WAY AGAINST MONTREAL
Derek Roy has four points (1+3) against the Canadiens this season and leads all Sabres with 34 (12+22) in 44 career games against the Habs. Three other players have three points in three games against Montreal this year: Christian Ehrhoff (1+2), Paul Gaustad (1+2) and Thomas Vanek (1+2).

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