NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, May 16th
(All times eastern)
(1) Buffalo Sabres (0-3) at (4) Ottawa Senators (3-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators will try to complete a shocking sweep
of the top-seeded Buffalo Sabres tonight, when the teams meet for Game 4 of
the Eastern Conference finals at Scotiabank Place.
The Senators have jumped out to a 3-0 lead in this best-of-seven series and
are now just one win away from their first-ever trip to the Stanley Cup
Meanwhile, Buffalo, this year's Presidents' Trophy winner, needs to win four
straight games to avoid losing in the East finals for the second straight
season. The Sabres were ousted by Carolina in seven games last year and the
Hurricanes went on to win the Cup.
In order to make the Stanley Cup finals this year, the Sabres will have to
become just the third team in NHL history to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a
best-of-seven series. The New York Islanders did it last in the 1975 Stanley
Cup quarterfinals against Pittsburgh and the Toronto Maple Leafs were the
first to pull off the feat when they rallied against Detroit to win the Cup in
The Senators and Sabres, the two highest-scoring teams in the NHL during the
regular season, played a 1-0 game on Monday and Ottawa skated away with the
win. The Sens improved to 8-0 when scoring the first goal in the playoffs this
Daniel Alfredsson scored the lone goal in Game 2 and Ottawa suffocated the
potent Buffalo offense to take the commanding lead in the East finals.
Alfredsson extended his team record for goals in a single postseason with his
ninth tally and he also found the back of the net for the fifth straight game.
Ottawa's captain has 15 points overall in this year's playoffs.
Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza, Alfredsson's linemates, each posted an assist
in Monday's win and are tied for the team lead in points with 18 apiece. Prior
to this postseason, Ottawa's record for points in a single playoff year was 16
set by Marian Hossa in 2003.
Senators goaltender Ray Emery needed to make just 15 saves for his third
shutout of the playoffs. The 24-year-old Emery is 11-2 with a 1.89 goals
against average and .921 save percentage in his second postseason.
Buffalo was once again done in by its power play. The Sabres went 0-for-6
with the man-advantage on Monday and have yet to score in 18 power play
opportunities against the Senators.
Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller kept Buffalo in the game with 31 saves, but
received no help from his teammates.
Daniel Briere and Chris Drury, Buffalo's co-captains, have both had less than
productive series against the Senators. Each player has just one point so far
in the set and that came when Briere scored with 5.8 seconds left in
regulation of Game 2 to send the contest to overtime. Drury added an assist on
that goal, but Buffalo wound up losing when Ottawa's Joe Corvo scored early in
the second extra period.
This is the fourth time the Sabres and Sens have met in the playoffs and
Buffalo has won the previous three series. The clubs faced off in last year's
conference semifinals and Buffalo won that set in five games.
Ottawa was 25-13-3 as the home team during the regular season, while the
Sabres posted an excellent 25-12-4 mark as the visiting club.
If the Senators are unable to close out this series tonight then the teams
will get together Saturday afternoon in Buffalo.
05/16 10:33:24 ET