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Sabres seek better start against Canadiens

     MONTREAL -- The Sabres are done lamenting their poor finish in the last game. They're focusing on a better start to the next.

 The Sabres visit the Montreal Canadiens tonight, two days after blowing a 3-1 lead in the final 2:30 of regulation and losing to Nashville in overtime. In the Sabres' last visit to Montreal, they were down, 2-0, in the game and 2-0 in the shootout before becoming the first team in NHL history to overcome those dual deficits in the same game.

 "We got off to a tough start here last time, but we played a good 40 minutes after that and ended up winning it in a shootout," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said after the optional morning skate in Bell Centre. "You're looking at two teams that are similar, good speed, good transition, good goaltending. I expect this to be a real tight game. I don't expect either team to run away with the play, but I think both teams could have pockets of good play that you're going to have to take advantage of."

 The Habs are coming off an 8-1 trouncing of Minnesota on Sunday that helped defenseman P.K. Subban get named the NHL's Third Star of the Week. He had a hat trick and an assist in the game.

 Ruff, meanwhile, agrees with the league's decision to suspend Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke for the final 10 games of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs for a head shot on the Rangers' Ryan McDonagh.

 "The league nailed that one," Ruff said. "A repeat offender, lots of incidents the same, and we need them out of the game. We need those plays out of the game.

 "He can miss 17 games, that's a pretty good message. I think any guy that has a head shot in his history now, a deliberate attempt, the message is pretty clear. I think that's a good message to have."

-- John Vogl


NHL | Sabres
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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