NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, December 12th (All times Eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (7-22-2) at Ottawa Senators (12-14-6), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Buffalo Sabres aim for a much-needed sweep of their home-and-home series with the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night as they pay a visit to Canada's capital city.
The Sabres won for only the second time in their last 10 games, claiming a 2-1 shootout victory at home on Tuesday over the Senators. Zemgus Girgensons scored in regulation before netting the winner in the 10-round tiebreaker.
Buffalo outscored Ottawa 4-3 in the shootout and claimed the extra point when Ryan Miller stopped Erik Condra's chance following Girgensons' conversion. Miller made 35 saves through overtime.
"We haven't had a chance to win a lot of games," Miller said. "I want to win some games. So, if this is going to be my opportunity to win a game for any number of games, I got to take it and give these guys some confidence."
Miller and the Sabres are 4-0 in shootouts this season and the netminder passed Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers for the most shootout wins in NHL history with 46.
The Sabres matched a season high with 36 shots on net Tuesday and improved to 7-4 all-time in shootouts versus the Senators. They beat Ottawa for only the third time in the past 10 meetings overall and have lost three of the last four as the visitor in this series.
Miller is likely to get the start again tonight and is 7-4-2 with a 2.03 goals against average versus the Senators since the start of the 2010-11 season.
Ottawa, meanwhile, fell to 2-3-2 in its last seven games overall despite 35 saves from Robin Lehner. The Sens have gone to a shootout in their last three games, losing two of those.
Milan Michalek scored in regulation for Ottawa, which plays three straight and nine of its next 11 at home.
"I thought we came on the road and we got a point, which is good," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "We're still gaining some traction in our game and a lot of things went good for us."
Sens defenseman Jared Cowen will miss the back end of this home-and-home set after getting hit with a two-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Girgensons on Tuesday.
The check came late in the third period after Girgensons received a long pass just over the blue line in the Ottawa zone. Cowen was not penalized on the play.
Lehner fell to 0-1-1 with a 2.45 GAA in two career games versus the Sabres.
Ottawa's Craig Anderson is 8-3-1 with a 2.41 GAA in his career when facing Buffalo. That includes a 35-save shutout in a 1-0 victory at Buffalo on Oct. 4, Anderson's second career shutout versus the Sabres.
12/12 10:48:13 ET