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Friday, March 26th (All times eastern)

Ottawa Senators (39-30-5) at Buffalo Sabres (40-22-10), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The streaking Buffalo Sabres will try to solidify their division title chances and clinch a playoff berth tonight when they host the Ottawa Senators in an important Northeast clash at HSBC Arena.

The Sabres have won four in a row to extend their lead atop the division to seven points over Ottawa. Buffalo also has the benefit of owning two games in hand over the Senators and can officially punch its ticket to the postseason with a victory in tonight's contest.

However, the Senators have dominated Buffalo recently, winning eight straight in the series and all four matchups this year. Ottawa has also taken nine of 10 overall from the Sabres and has won three straight and seven of eight in Buffalo.

Ottawa is currently fifth in the Eastern Conference standings and is one point ahead of sixth-seeded Montreal.

Buffalo is 7-2-1 in its last 10 outings and is coming off Wednesday's close victory over visiting Montreal. Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek each scored in the shootout for Buffalo in the 3-2 victory over the Habs. The Sabres trailed 2-0 after two periods but scored twice in the final two minutes of regulation to force overtime.

Pominville got the shootout going with a snap shot that went through the legs of Carey Price. Andrei Kostitsyn failed to score on a wrist shot for the Canadiens. After a scoreless second round, Vanek sealed Buffalo's come-from- behind win with a snap shot off the inside of the left post.

"It was an ugly game but we'll take the two points," Vanek said. "I think we all know that we can be better, and we will be better."

Paul Gaustad and Tim Connolly scored the goals late in regulation for the Sabres, while Ryan Miller made 26 saves in the win.

Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta and defenseman Henrik Tallinder suffered injuries in Wednesday's win. Kaleta is questionable for tonight with a neck ailment, while Tallinder is expected to sit out with a head injury.

Buffalo is 22-9-6 as the host this year and is playing the middle test of a three-game homestand tonight.

Meanwhile, the Senators will aim for a third straight win tonight as they try to stay on the right track. Prior to beating Montreal and Philadelphia in its last two games, Ottawa had lost five straight and eight out of nine.

The Sens blanked the Flyers on Tuesday as Brian Elliott stopped all 26 shots he faced to post his second consecutive shutout in the 2-0 win at Scotiabank Place.

Elliott, who also blanked the Canadiens in Montreal on Monday, recorded his fifth shutout of the season and sixth in his career. He is expected to get the start again tonight.

"He's played unbelievable the last two games and we've been able to score the first goals, too, in the last two games, which definitely helps," Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson said of Elliott. "We're skating much better. We're being more aggressive, not as passive as we were. Hopefully we can continue that."

Chris Kelly and Alfredsson scored for the Senators, who will aim for their first three-game winning streak since they set a club record with 11 consecutive victories from Jan. 14-Feb. 6.

Forward Alex Kovalev suffered a lower-body injury in the win over the Flyers and did not make the trip to Buffalo.

Ottawa ended a four-game road losing streak with Monday's win in Montreal but still has a 15-20-1 record as the guest this year.

03/26 10:43:27 ET


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