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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, February 28th (All times eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (28-29-6-1) at Ottawa Senators (34-16-9-5), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators will attempt to get back on the winning track tonight, when they begin a home-and-home against the Buffalo Sabres at the Corel Centre.

Ottawa will be without forward Martin Havlat for the next two games, as he has been suspended by the NHL. Havlat, who was also suspended two games in early January for a kicking incident, received a match penalty Thursday night for high-sticking Philadelphia forward Mark Recchi in the head with the shaft of his stick.

The 22-year-old Havlat, in his fourth season with the Senators, has 25 goals and 29 assists in 51 games this season.

Ottawa is winless (0-1-1) in its last two games, including a 1-1 deadlock with the East-leading Flyers Thursday night. The Senators have been solid overall in February, tallying a 6-2-2-2 record in 12 contests. Thanks to their success, the Northeast-leading Sens have pulled within one point of Philadelphia.

Marian Hossa recorded the lone goal for Ottawa, which has just one regulation loss in its last 10 games (6-1-2-1). Hossa has four goals and six assists in his last 10 contests.

Patrick Lalime posted 17 saves for the Senators. Lalime has registered a 21-17-7 mark between the pipes this season.

Ottawa finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Flyers converted one of their three chances with the extra skater.

The Senators have been outstanding at the Corel Centre lately, tallying a 14-0-4-1 mark in their last 18 contests. For the season, Ottawa is 20-7-5-4 at home.

Buffalo is fighting to stay above water, as it has dropped three in a row to slip eight points behind the New York Islanders for the final playoff slot in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres' woes continued Friday night in the form of a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Isles.

Chris Drury finished with a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who had their five-game home unbeaten string snapped (4-0-1). Buffalo has been outscored 16-5 over the last three contests.

J.P. Dumont contributed a goal and Martin Biron stopped 21 shots in the defeat. Biron fell to 17-13-4 between the pipes this season.

Sabres forward Ales Kotalik did not play because of the injured right shoulder he suffered in Wednesday's 8-2 defeat to New Jersey. Kotalik isn't expect to play this evening.

The Sabres have lost two straight road tilts to fall to 11-18-2-0 in rival buildings this season.

Buffalo is 2-0-2 against the Senators this season, including a win and a tie in each building. The Sabres registered a 3-2 win in their most recent meeting on January 9 in Buffalo.

02/28 10:07:53 ET


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