NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Wednesday, March 3rd
(All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (35-16-9-5) at Buffalo Sabres (28-30-6-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - With their playoff hopes fading, the Buffalo Sabres try to
halt a four-game losing streak tonight when they welcome the Ottawa Senators
to HSBC Arena for the back end of a home-and-home.
Having 63 points, the Sabres are 10th in the Eastern Conference standings --
10 behind the NY Islanders for the final playoff berth.
On Saturday, the Senators pounded the Sabres, 7-1, up at Corel Centre. Bryan
Smolinski finished with a goal and two assists to pace the effort. Daniel
Alfredsson, Wade Redden, Peter Bondra, Marian Hossa and Zdeno Chara each
posted a goal and an assist for the Sens, who scored the game's final
seven goals to improve to 7-1-2-1 in their last 11 overall.
Hossa extended his point streak to five games (2g, 4a), and has reached the
scoresheet in 10 of his last 11 matches.
Mike Fisher and Jason Spezza each posted two assists for the Senators, who
played without forward Martin Havlat. He served the first of a two-game
suspension for a high-sticking penalty against Philadelphia on Thursday.
Ottawa, with 84 points, is tied with Toronto for the Northeast Division lead
-- two ahead of Boston. The Sens are also knotted with Tampa Bay and
Philadelphia for the overall conference lead.
Ottawa, only 2-3-1 in its last six road games, will visit the Flyers on
Friday. The Senators play 13 of their final 17 contests away from home.
In Saturday's loss, Adam Mair scored in the first period for the Sabres, who
had their four-game unbeaten streak in the series snapped (2-0-2). Mika
Noronen stopped 26 shots in the setback and fell to 11-14-2 between the pipes
The Sabres will receive some reinforcement tonight, as defenseman James
Patrick is expected to play after missing 15 games with a pinched nerve in his
neck. Patrick's return will help account for the loss of fellow blueliner Rory
Fitzpatrick, who sustained a serious knee injury on Saturday.
Buffalo, 4-1-1 in its last six home games, will visit Toronto on Saturday.
The Sabres are 8-2-2 in the last 12 series games with the Senators played in
03/03 10:33:22 ET