With the Ottawa Senators coming off a shutout loss to the Winnipeg Jets, a visit from the Buffalo Sabres may be just what the doctor ordered for a struggling offence.
Last time the two teams met, exactly one week ago, Ottawa was able to put four pucks behind Sabres starter Jhonas Enroth on their way to a 4-3 victory. Things won’t be quite as easy this time around as the Sabres are expected to go with their starting goalie, Ryan Miller.
Even with Miller in the net, the Sabres have allowed more goals than any team in the National Hockey League. Through 13 games they’ve allowed the opposition to score 46 times for an average of 3.54 per game. That number should be encouraging for an Ottawa team that has scored just 7 times in their last 5 games.
Paul MacLean put his team through a fairly tough practice yesterday, emphasizing the importance of getting to the net. That will be a priority for Ottawa in this one. MacLean has also done a little more line juggling with Mika Zibanejad finding his way on to what appears to be the number one line.
Andre Benoit will be the healthy scratch. Here is how the Sens are expected to line up.
Craig Anderson makes the start in the Ottawa goal. Puck drop is scheduled for just after 7:30 PM with all the action available on Sportsnet and on the radio at Team 1200.
- Guillaume Latendresse continues to be sidelined with what the team is calling whiplash. He has not been on the ice at practice for a little over a week and the team doesn't really have a timetable for his return. Certainly not the way Latendresse wanted to start his career in a Senators uniform. Peter Regin is also injured and will be out for at least a week.
- Last night we heard that a Senators scout was in Columbus to watch the Sharks take on the Blue Jackets. No word on what brought the scout to town but there are a couple names that jump out on the Jackets roster. Veteran centre Vinny Prospal is on a one year deal and would fit the bill as a cheap, short-term fix at the centre ice position. Derrick Brassard’s name has also come up in the rumour mill and we know he’s a player Ottawa has looked at in the past. Something to keep an eye on.
- All day today, for every text message, long distance call, tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk Image, Bell will be donating 5 cents to help fund mental health initiatives across Canada. It’s a fantastic cause that encourages mental health awareness and helps to decrease the stigma associated with mental illness. Head here for more details.