NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, February 6th
(All times Eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (15-33-8) at Ottawa Senators (25-21-11), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Buffalo Sabres have managed just four goals over a
three-game losing streak.
That is still more than they have in three previous meetings with the Ottawa
Senators this season.
Buffalo aims to get its offense on track Thursday night when the club visits
Ottawa for its final game before the Olympic break.
The Sabres sit last in the NHL with just 1.82 goals per game, well behind the
next closest team in the Los Angeles Kings, who are netting an average of 2.26
goals per contest.
Buffalo has done little to boost its offensive numbers on a three-game slide,
getting outscored 15-4.
Drew Stafford scored 5:58 into last night's meeting with Pittsburgh, but it
was all Penguins from there as the Sabres suffered a 5-1 setback. Ryan Miller
was charged with all five goals allowed on 34 shots, but his coach deflected
the blame off his netminder.
"That had nothing to do with Ryan tonight," Sabres head coach Ted Nolan said.
"It was the guys in front of him."
Buffalo played without defenseman Tyler Myers, who sat out with a lower-body
injury. It is unknown if he will return tonight in the Sabres' last game
before going on hiatus for the 2014 Olympic Games.
The Sabres will try to go into the break on a positive note following their
final regular season meeting with the Senators this campaign.
The two clubs have combined for just five non-shootout goals in the previous
three meetings, with the Senators winning twice. Ottawa has taken eight of the
last 11 encounters overall as well as three straight and four of the last five
played at home.
Ennis has one of two goals scored by the Sabres versus the Sens this season,
while Miller has gone 1-2-0 while posting a 1.32 goals against average.
Stafford, who has five goals and seven points in his last six games played,
leads Buffalo with 24 points (6 goals, 18 assists) in 39 career games against
Ottawa. He has scored in back-to-back games since missing four straight with
an upper-body injury.
Kyle Turris has notched three assists for the Senators versus the Sabres this
season, while Craig Anderson has been in net for both wins. He has allowed one
goal on 76 shots for a 0.50 GAA and .967 save percentage.
Anderson may start tonight after Robin Lehner came up with 46 saves in
Tuesday's 5-4 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues.
Ottawa trailed 3-1 going into the third period before Turris, Milan Michalek
and Jason Spezza scored during a 2:35 span, but the Blues did counter with a
game-tying goal with 8:52 left in regulation.
Turris then came through with the winner in the fifth round of the shootout,
salvaging the finale of a three-game road trip.
"To have the response we did in the third, to come out and not only tie it up
but get the lead and force it to go into overtime, to get the two points like
we did in a tough building to play in against a very good team is huge,"
Spezza added two assists, Erik Karlsson scored and Michalek ended a 13-game
Ottawa, which plays in Boston on Saturday, is one point back of the eighth
spot in the Eastern Conference.
02/06 11:15:22 ET