After a modest two game win streak was ended Sunday evening by the Boston Bruins, 3-1, The Buffalo Sabres will look to regroup tonight against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place in Ontario, Canada.
Victories over the Montreal Canadiens and New York Islanders at the end of last week put the Sabres in a position to crawl out of the basement in the Northeast Division, but the Bruins had other ideas.
A sellout crowd at the First Niagara Center and brilliant goaltending by Ryan Miller were not enough to keep Boston from extending it’s lead in the division and handing Buffalo its 7th loss of the season. With the win the Bruins also crept to within two points of Eastern Conference leaders, the New Jersey Devils.
Tonight’s contest will be the second meeting of the season between the two clubs with the Ottawa Senators holding on to a 4-3 win last Tuesday. Jumping out to a 4-1 lead, the Senators withstood the Sabres pressure and held on for the two points.
Jhonas Enroth was in net for the Sabres, allowing four goals on 24 shots, while Tyler Ennis, Jordan Leopold and Jason Pominville each scored in the loss.
Since last Tuesday’s victory, the Senators suffered losses to both the Carolina Hurricanes and the Winnipeg Jets. Much like the Sabres, head coach Paul Maclean and his club will look to get back in the win column.
Ottawa netminder Craig Anderson will put his league leading 1.49 goals against average on the line against the Sabres and offensive leaders Kyle Turris, Erik Karlsson, along with the ever present Daniel Alfredsson will hope to make it two in a row against Buffalo.
Ottawa has struggled due to an injury to star forward Jason Spezza. Ottawa was already a team dominated by youth. With the removal of Spezza from the lineup it has caused the Senators to shuffle things up throughout their lineup.
The Senators have benefitted from the stellar play of defending Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson and goaltender Craig Anderson. Anderson in particular has put the team on his back. He is putting up Vezina caliber numbers and if the season ended today he would be in the discussions for the Hart Trophy.
The season series was very evenly matched last year with each team having three wins and two of those coming from shoot outs. After tonight’s meeting, the clubs will battle two more times this year, both being at the First Niagara Center.
The game is scheduled for 7:30 this evening and can be seen on MSG.