NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 25rd (All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (41-28-7) at Buffalo Sabres (35-29-11), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators will try to avoid a third straight loss tonight, when they visit the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena for the opener of a home-and-home series.
Ottawa has dropped two straight and three of four games and is now seven points behind Montreal for first place in the Northeast Division. The Canadiens have five games remaining and the Sens have six.
The Senators' were handed a setback by the Canadiens on Monday, as Montreal won a wild 7-5 decision on its home ice. Andrei Kostitsyn scored two goals to help the Canadiens become the first team in the Eastern Conference to clinch a playoff spot.
Dany Heatley tallied twice and Martin Lapointe added a goal and an assist for the Senators.
Daniel Alfredsson finished with three assists and Randy Robitaille had two helpers. Martin Gerber allowed three goals on 14 shot in the first period before Ray Emery took over between the pipes at the start of the second. Emery made 14 saves.
Ottawa is fifth in the conference with 89 points and is just one ahead of the New York Rangers and two points behind New Jersey. Both the Rangers and Devils play tonight.
The Senators are 19-15-4 as the visiting team this year and have dropped seven of nine and 10 of their last 13 road tests.
Meanwhile, the Sabres are currently outside the Eastern Conference playoff race, as they sit in 10th place -- three points behind Boston for the eighth and final postseason berth in the East.
Buffalo had won three straight contests before getting dealt a setback by visiting Toronto on Friday. Jason Blake registered a goal and an assist, as the Maple Leafs downed the Sabres, 4-1, at HSBC Arena.
Thomas Vanek tallied the lone goal for the Sabres, while Ryan Miller allowed four goals on 24 shots in defeat.
Vanek has notched four goals in his last two games after posting just one marker in his previous eight outings. The Austrian winger leads Buffalo with 32 goals on the season.
The Sabres are 19-14-5 as the host this season, but have dropped five of their last seven tests on home ice.
Ottawa is 4-2 against the Sabres this year and has taken five of the last seven encounters between the clubs. The Sens have also won in two straight and four of their last seven trips to Buffalo.
03/25 10:41:33 ET