NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, December 10th
(All times Eastern)
Ottawa Senators (12-14-5) at Buffalo Sabres (6-22-2), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators will try to record consecutive wins
for the first time in over a month when they visit the lowly Buffalo Sabres on
Tuesday for the opener of a home-and-home series.
The Senators halted a two-game slide with Monday's shootout decision against
visiting Philadelphia. It was only the fourth win in the last 12 games for
Ottawa, which hasn't won two in a row since a season-best three-game winning
streak from Nov. 5-9.
Jason Spezza scored in the third round of the shootout to lift Ottawa to a 5-4
triumph over the Flyers. Spezza was the final shooter for Ottawa and he slowed
down in front of the net before deking to the forehand and stuffing the puck
in. Sean Couturier then rung his wrister off the right post to end the game.
"We talked about getting more consistent in our play," said Spezza. "We all
knew that if we can be on the same page, we'll have better results and it's
starting to show."
Clarke MacArthur scored twice and Kyle Turris and Patrick Wiercioch each
posted a goal for the Senators, who came into the game having lost four of
five. Craig Anderson gave up four goals on 29 shots, but stopped all three
attempts in the shootout to earn the win.
With the Senators playing on back-to-back nights, Robin Lehner could get the
start in net for Ottawa on Tuesday.
The Senators, who will host the Sabres on Thursday, are 7-6-2 as the road team
Ottawa has held the upper hand against the Sabres in recent seasons, winning
seven of the last nine games in this series. However, all but two of the Sens'
seven victories during that stretch have come by a single goal.
The Sens and Sabres met for the first of four meetings this season back on
Oct. 4 in Buffalo and Ottawa recorded a 1-0 win. Erik Karlsson scored with
1:35 left in the third period for the Senators and Anderson stopped all 35
shots for the shutout, his second career white-washing against the Sabres.
Ottawa has claimed four of the last five meetings against the Sabres in
After this week's home-and-home set, the Sabres and Sens won't meet again
until they cap their season series on Feb. 6 in Ottawa.
With only 14 points through 30 games, the Sabres are still sitting at the
bottom of the NHL standings and they enter Tuesday's tilt having lost three
straight and eight of their last nine games.
It's been a season-long struggle for Buffalo and things haven't gotten any
better since the club fired head coach Ron Rolston last month and replaced him
with Ted Nolan on an interim basis. The Sabres were 4-15-1 under Rolston this
season and are just 2-7-1 in their first 10 games since the coaching change.
Buffalo last played on Saturday when it dropped a 3-2 regulation decision in
Montreal. Brandon Prust and Tomas Plekanec both tallied a goal and an assist
for the Habs and Montreal goaltender Carey Price stopped 23 shots to post the
Tyler Ennis had a goal and an assist for the Sabres and Zemgus Girgensons
accounted for the team's other goal. Jhonas Enroth allowed three goals on 19
shots in the defeat.
"I could've come up with one of those saves. It wasn't good enough tonight.
All three were one-timers, but I think I could have stopped one of those
goals," said Enroth.
Ryan Miller is expected to get the start Tuesday and is 15-18-4 with a 2.67
goals against average in 38 career games against the Senators.
Beginning with tonight's tilt, the Sabres are playing three of their next four
games at First Niagara Center. Buffalo has a dreadful 3-12-1 home record this
season and has lost four of its last five as the host.
12/10 10:49:42 ET