Less than 24 hours after a big shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers, the Ottawa Senators now look to string together a couple of victories in a row as they roll into Buffalo to take on the lowly Sabres.
Despite giving up a couple leads, the Senators stuck with the game plan and were rewarded on Monday night at the Canadian Tire Centre. Craig Anderson, who might have wanted one or two of the Flyers goals back, made some big stops late in the game and in the shootout to preserve an important 5-4 shootout win. Ottawa now needs to find a way to carry over the positive vibes from Monday night less than 24 hours later when they visit the Sabres.
Tonight kicks of a home and home between the Atlantic Division rivals with the next game coming back at the Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday night.
The Sabres currently sit in last place in the entire NHL and are off to a dreadful start in 2013/2014. They have managed to pick up just 14 points through their first 30 games, posting a 6-22-4 record along the way. It’s rare you see a team relegated to playing for pride this early in the season but that’s the reality in Buffalo right now. What you know is that under new Head Coach Ted Nolan, they’ll give the Senators all they can handle over the next couple of games. For a Senators team that has a tendency to play down to their opponent from time to time, it will be important that they avoid a letdown after the win over Philly and find a way to come away with 3 or 4 points during this home and home.
If Ottawa plans on playing their way back into the Eastern Conference playoff race, these are points they absolutely have to bank.
Will be interesting to see what MacLean has in mind for the line combinations tonight after he continued to shuffle the deck last night. At one point, the Senators iced a top six of MacArthur-Spezza-Ryan and Michalek-Turris-Zibanejad with both lines quickly connecting for goals. I doubt MacLean will start with those combinations but he darn well better go back to them at some point. Both lines seemed to have chemistry and it really gave the team a lift late in that game against the Flyers. Just an optional morning skate for the Sens tonight so we’ll have to wait until game time to see how MacLean lines em up.
Robin Lehner is expected to get the start in the Ottawa goal. The Sabres will counter with Ryan Miller. Puck drop is scheduled for just after 7:00 PM.