NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 10th
(All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (19-18-4) at Ottawa Senators (27-10-4), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres will try to end their lengthy losing
streak this evening, but will have to do so on the road against the Ottawa
Senators, the best team in the Eastern Conference.
The Sabres have dropped seven straight contests for the first time since
December 4-19, 2003. Another setback tonight would give Buffalo its first
eight-game skid since January 25-February 13, 2003.
Buffalo's latest defeat came Tuesday night in New Jersey, as Brian Gionta and
Patrik Elias scored in the shootout to lift the Devils to a 2-1 decision.
The first two shooters for both sides missed, before Buffalo's Ales Kotalik
beat Martin Brodeur with a backhander that he lifted over the netminder's
stick. Gionta countered with his goal, and after Brodeur made a stick save on
Thomas Vanek, Elias swung wide coming out of the neutral zone, and from
between the circles beat Ryan Miller with a hard wrister that rang off the
inside of the left post.
Miller made 29 saves and Jason Pominville scored in regulation for the Sabres.
Buffalo is wrapping up a three-game road trip tonight and is just 8-10-3 as
the visiting team this season.
Ottawa, meanwhile, has won five of its last seven contests and is first in the
Northeast Division and Eastern Conference with 58 points on the year.
The Senators last played on Saturday, when they posted a dramatic victory over
the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. Mike Fisher scored with 1:43 left in
overtime to lead the Sens to the 4-3 decision at Scotiabank Place.
In the extra session, Fisher side-stepped Tampa Bay defenseman Brad Lukowich
at the left circle and fired a wrister through the five-hole of Johan
Randy Robitaille scored a pair and Fisher added an assist for the Senators.
Dany Heatley also tallied and Ray Emery stopped 16-of-19 shots to earn the
Fisher and Daniel Alfredsson each have seven-game point streaks intact for
Ottawa, while Heatley has reached the scoresheet in six straight contests.
The Senators are playing the second test of a four-game homestand tonight.
Ottawa is 13-6-2 at Scotiabank Place this season, but has lost six of its last
nine home tilts.
The Senators are 3-1 against Buffalo this year and have won eight of the last
11 contests with the Sabres.
01/10 11:09:50 ET