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Canadiens aim for fifth straight win vs. Sabres

Montreal (34-22-7) at Buffalo (31-25-7), 7:30 pm EST

BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- The Montreal Canadiens will try to

keep rolling without their newly named starting goaltender.

The Canadiens will likely be without Jaroslav Halak when they go

for their season-best fifth consecutive victory against the

Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday in a battle of Northeast Division

foes.

All-Star Carey Price will take Halak's place in the crease,

searching for his first win in over a month. Halak, who has

started the last four games, is recovering from the flu.

The 21-year-old Price, who has struggled since injuring his

ankle over three months ago, is 18-12-6 with a 2.78

goals-against average and one shutout.

Price will certainly get a challenge from the Sabres, who expect

leading-scorer Thomas Vanek to back in the lineup. Vanek, who

leads the club with 32 goals, has missed the last nine games

with a fractured jaw.

Buffalo's offense has sputtered without Vanek. The Sabres have

managed just three goals during their current three-game losing

streak, which included a 2-0 setback to the New York Islanders

on Saturday.

Captain Saku Koivu and defenseman Andrei Markov each collected a

goal and an assist Saturday as the Canadiens edged the San Jose

Sharks, 3-2, for their fourth straight win.

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