Series (Game 5 of 6)

Series tied 3-3

Game 1: Friday, November 7th
Game 2: Saturday, November 8th
Game 3: Tuesday, January 6th
Game 4: Tuesday, January 27th
Game 5: Wednesday, March 24th
Game 6: Saturday, April 3rd

Canadiens 1

(40-27-3, 90 pts)

Sabres 2

(34-32-4, 78 pts)

7:30 PM ET, March 24, 2004

First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York

1 2 3 T
MTL 0 0 11
BUF 0 2 02

J. Dumont (Sabres - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

A. Mair (Sabres - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

M. Biron (Sabres - G): Saves: 24, Save Pct.: .960

Montreal (40-26-7-3) at Buffalo (33-32-6-4) 7:30 pm EST

BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- The surging Montreal Canadiens try to push their unbeaten streak to five games and clinch a playoff berth Wednesday night when they visit the Buffalo Sabres.

Montreal is 3-0-1 in its last four games and 12-2-1-1 in its last 16.

The Canadiens are two points behind the New Jersey Devils for sixth place in the Eastern Conference and needs only one point to clinch a playoff berth for the second straight season. Montreal has 90 points and 40 wins for the first time since 1995-96.

On Saturday, Montreal concluded a home-and-home series against New Jersey with a 3-2 win at the Bell Centre. Jose Theodore made 33 saves and improved to 10-1-0 in his last 11 decisions.

Rookie Michael Ryder had a goal and an assist while Jim Dowd and Alexei Kovalev also scored for Montreal, which has points in each of its last eight games (6-0-1-1).

Buffalo is trying to avoid missing the playoffs for the third straight season. The Sabres are ninth in the East, eight points behind the New York Islanders for the final spot.

On Saturday, Buffalo concluded a three-game road trip with a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. Miroslav Satan scored his 29th goal, rookie Derek Roy netted his second straight game-winning goal and Martin Biron stopped 23 shots.

The teams have split four meetings this season, with the home team winning each.