NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, March 7th
(All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (33-25-7) at Ottawa Senators (24-29-10), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The playoff-hopeful Buffalo Sabres will shoot for a third
straight victory when they visit the Ottawa Senators for tonight's Northeast
Division battle at Scotiabank Place.
The Sabres come into Saturday's action just one point out of a playoff spot in
the Eastern Conference. Buffalo has 73 points and is tied with Carolina for
the conference's ninth seed, while Pittsburgh, Florida and the New York
Rangers are tied for the final three postseason berths in the East.
Buffalo has dominated the competition in its last two games, defeating both
Montreal and Phoenix by 5-1 scores. The most recent victory came Friday
evening against the visiting Coyotes. Tim Connolly registered two goals and
two assists, leading the Sabres to the easy win at HSBC Arena.
Earlier in the week, Connolly had been rewarded by the Sabres front office
with a two-year contract extension. The 27-year-old centerman has 31 points
(13 goals, 18 assists) in 31 games this season.
Andrej Sekera, Jason Pominville and Drew Stafford also scored for the Sabres,
who haven't won three straight since January 15-19. Jaroslav Spacek collected
two helpers and Patrick Lalime made 29 saves to earn the win.
Lalime is 2-2-1 with a 1.58 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage
in five starts since franchise goaltender Ryan Miller went down with an ankle
injury. The Sabres also acquired goaltender Mikael Tellqvist from Phoenix at
Wednesday's trade deadline to pick up some starts while Miller is sidelined.
The Sabres had center Dominic Moore in the lineup on Friday, after it appeared
he may miss the game due to a problem with his visa. Moore, who has 12 goals
and 41 points this season, was picked up in a trade with Toronto on Wednesday.
He registered two shots on goal against the Coyotes.
Tonight marks the first of two straight on the road for Buffalo, which will
also visit Philadelphia on Tuesday. The Sabres are 14-13-5 as the guest this
year and have dropped three straight and five of six on the road.
The Senators, who are 16 points of a playoff spot, ended a three-game losing
streak their last time out, as they recorded Thursday's home win over
Edmonton. It was Ottawa's fourth consecutive victory over the Oilers.
Jason Spezza, Mike Comrie and Dany Heatley each notched a goal and an assist,
as Ottawa defeated the Oilers, 4-2, at Scotiabank Place.
Chris Campoli also scored for the Senators, who had also lost six of their
previous seven games. Rookie goaltender Brian Elliot stopped 24-of-26 shots
for his eighth win of the season.
The win helped Ottawa improve to 2-2-1 on a season-high eight-game homestand,
which will end after visits to Canada's capital by Toronto and Tampa Bay. The
Senators are 14-12-6 as the host this season and the club has dropped seven of
its last 10 games at Scotiabank Place.
The Senators have taken three of the four meetings with Buffalo this season
and have come out on top in seven of the last 10 encounters between the clubs.
The Sabres have dropped six of eight and 10 of their last 14 games in Ottawa.
03/07 10:42:50 ET