Game Day Preview - OTT @ BUF

(20-31-9, 15th East)

vs

(28-25-6, 9th East)

The Ottawa Senators are on their best roll of 2011 as they head into Buffalo to take on the Sabres.  Ottawa has won two in a row, and look to play spoiler as Buffalo is in 9th place, trailing Carolina by 3 points for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.  Buffalo will play the fifth game of  a six game home stand before they head out on the road for a 7 game roadie.  Erik Karlsson practiced Thursday and should be able to return tonight against the Sabres.  Daniel Alfredsson is still out, and Sergei Gonchar will likey  miss as well.

This will be the fifth meeting of the season between the clubs.  Buffalo holds a 3-1 edge. The Sabres defeating the Senators 3-2 in their last meeting right before the All-Star break.   The Senators are a vastly different club than when the teams last met, as the wholesale changes by Bryan Murray began after the break.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

BUFFALO

Drew Stafford, RW – This has been a breakout season for the winger, who has already set a career high in goals with 24, despite missing 18 games this season.  His 24 goals leads the Sabres as do his 9 power play goals (tied with Vanek).  Stafford scores in bunches, as he has scored 4 hat tricks this season alone.  Has gone 3 games without a point. Was the Sabres’ first round pick in 2004 (13th overall).

OTTAWA

Colin Greening, F – Greening hs had a busy week as a Senator.  He became the fastest skater in Senators’ history at Monday’s team Skills Competition, beating Antoine Vermette’s record.  He also finished runner-up to Matt Carkner in the hardest shot event.  In actual game action, Greening recorded his first career point on Wednesday, assisting on Bobby Butler’s first period goal.  Played a career high 14:03 and even saw some power play time against Florida.

LAST 5 GAMES

 

  OTT BUF
RECORD 3-1-1 2-3-0
GOALS FOR 15 8
GOALS AGAINST 11 10
PP 5/24 (20.8%) 2/14 (14.3%)
PK 24/25 (96.0%) 17/21 (81.0%)

THREE KEYS TO A SENATORS VICTORY

Desire to Play Spoiler – All the Senators can salvage from this dreadful season is to make it tougher for a divisional rival to make the postseason.

Special Teams – Ottawa’s penalty kill has been almost spotless lately, while the power play has shown signs of life since Spezza’s return,

Craig Anderson - Two games in and fans are close to erecting a statue in his honour.  A third straight dominating performance and Senators’ fans heads might just explode.

Check back here at SenShot for a complete post-game wrap-up.

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