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Friday, March 24th (All times eastern)

Ottawa Senators (47-15-6) at Buffalo Sabres (44-19-5), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The top two teams in the Northeast Division will battle each other tonight, as the Buffalo Sabres welcome the Ottawa Senators to HSBC Arena.

The Senators lead the Northeast and Eastern Conference with 100 points and are two behind Detroit for the most points in the NHL. Ottawa can officially clinch a playoff berth with a point tonight.

Buffalo has 93 points and is currently seeded fourth in the East playoff picture.

Just last week, the Sabres had moved within striking distance of the mighty Senators. Buffalo won its eighth straight game last Thursday against Toronto, but have since dropped three in a row to fall seven points behind Ottawa.

Buffalo's most recent setback came Wednesday evening against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes. Justin Williams registered a goal and an assist to help Carolina earn the 4-3 win.

Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek each scored a goal and Ryan Miller stopped 21 shots for the Sabres. Jiri Novotny notched his second tally of the year in the loss.

The Sabres, who are 23-9-3 at HSBC this year, complete a brief two-game homestand tonight.

The Senators, meanwhile, have been surging of late, winning three in a row, six of seven and 11 of their last 13 games.

Ottawa was last in action on Tuesday when it pounded the Pittsburgh Penguins at Scotiabank Place. Daniel Alfredsson and Andrei Meszaros notched a goal and an assist apiece to lift the Sens to the 5-2 win.

Chris Kelly, Chris Neil and Antoine Vermette also scored for the Senators, while Ray Emery made 22 saves in the win.

Tonight marks the first of two straight on the road for Ottawa, which is 21-9-5 as the visitor this year. The Senators will travel to Philadelphia on Saturday.

Ottawa is 4-1 against the Sabres this season and has scored at least four goals in all of the victories. The Sens even scored 10 times against Buffalo back on November 2.

03/24 10:20:59 ET


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