Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
Sportsnet, Team 1200
12th East (13-13-4)@7th East (15-12-2)
The Buffalo Sabres host the Ottawa Senators for tonight’s tilt. The Senators are struggling, coming off their 5th loss in the last 6 games (albeit two of which went to overtime or shootout). They are hoping to rebound against a team which they have fared well against in the past. However, this hasn’t been the case so far this season. In the two earlier meetings, Buffalo came out on top with a 3-2 shootout win in Ottawa and a dominant 5-1 win at home.
Although Buffalo does a hold a playoff spot at the moment, they may be playing themselves out of one. They have lost 4 of their last 6 games (one of which went to OT) and like the Sens are looking to rebound. The Sabres hope they’ll have the same result as the last time on home ice where they dominated Ottawa from start to finish.
The Sabres’ two leading scorers are miles ahead of everyone else on their team. Jason Pominville leads the team with 31 points (10G 21A) and Thomas Vanek is close behind with 29 (14G 15A). Shutting down those two will be key for a Senators victory. Ryan Miller is likely to get the start tonight. His stats are respectable, but likely under his own expectations as he sports a 2.80 GAA and a .910 SV%.
Senators veteran defencemen Filip Kuba and Sergei Gonchar both remain out with injuries. Kuba is still weeks away, while Gonchar may suit up near the end of this week. For the Sabres there are injuries everywhere. Paul Gaustad, Nathan Gerbe, Patrick Kaleta, Jochen Hecht, and Corey Tropp are all listed as day to day. On top of that, Tyler Myers remains out with a broken wrist as does Brad Boyes with a right leg injury,
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Craig Anderson, G (OTT) – The last meeting Anderson had with Buffalo wasn’t pretty as he had two quick goals against and found himself on the bench in a hurry. He’s hoping that scenario will not repeat itself tonight.
Derek Roy, C (BUF) – Roy has consistently been a Sens killer. He’s definitely a player that the Sens defencemen will be keeping a close eye on.
THINGS TO WATCH FOR
1. Old First Line – The succesful first line of Colin Greening, Jason Spezza, and Milan Michalek is back together if the lines at practice remain the same. They had great success earlier in the season, and with the return of Peter Regin it allows coach MacLean to reunite the trio.
2. Peter Regin Comeback - Peter Regin will likely be centering the 2nd line tonight with Nick Foligno and Daniel Alfredsson. This is his chance to prove he can be the remaining top 6 forward that the Sens have been missing.
3. No Bingo Line? – Based on the practice lines, the 3rd line will begin with Chris Neil, Zack Smith, and Erik Condra. It will be interesting to see if Kaspars Daugavins ends up finding himself replacing Neil if that line struggles. Many thought that 3rd line of last year’s Binghamton players would be untouchable, but the return of Neil changed that.
Be sure to check back here on SenShot for a complete recap after the game. GO SENS GO!!!
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