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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Tuesday, December 23rd (All times eastern)

Ottawa Senators (16-10-3-3) at Buffalo Sabres (12-18-2-1), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators attempt to continue their ascent up the Northeast Division standings tonight when they visit the woeful Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena.

Ottawa has won its last three games, and is 7-2-1 in the last 10 overall. With 38 points the Senators have caught second-place Boston in the standings and now sit nine behind division-leading Toronto.

On Monday, Todd White scored at 1:34 of overtime to lift the Senators past the Florida Panthers, 3-2, to wrap up a five-game homestand. Antoine Vermette and Martin Havlat also tallied for Ottawa, while goaltender Martin Prusek made 19 saves.

Marian Hossa assisted on Havlat's marker to extend his point streak to six games. He has three goals and five helpers during the tear.

The Sens, 3-0-1 in their last four away games, will host Pittsburgh on Friday following the Christmas break.

Buffalo, meanwhile, has lost seven straight games, and eight of the last nine. The Sabres have also dropped five straight on home ice, including Friday's 5-2 loss to New Jersey.

Ales Kotalik and Adam Mair scored for Buffalo, while Martin Biron stopped just 13 of the 18 shots he faced in defeat. Biron made his first start in five games, but is expected to yield the crease to Mika Noronen, who has lost four of the seven contests during the team's current skid.

However, goaltending hasn't been the team's biggest problem recently, as its offensive attack hasn't come through in the least. The Sabres haven't managed more than two goals in any of the last seven matches, tallying a combined 11 times.

Buffalo will host Carolina on Friday.

The Sabres are 1-0-1 against the Senators this season, but Ottawa is 4-2-1 in the last seven meetings. The Sens have won two straight at HSBC Arena.

12/23 10:11:32 ET

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