Game 58 Preview: Buffalo Sabres @ Ottawa Senators


The Ottawa Senators play the penultimate game before the Olympic break in a game that they really can’t afford to lose in the grand scheme of things.

(15-33-8, 38 points)  8th Atlantic Division


(25-21-11, 61 points) 6th Atlantic Division

7:30 PM

Canadian Tire Centre

TV:  Rogers Sportsnet;   RADIO:  TSN1200


This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between the clubs. Ottawa has won2 and lost the other one in a shootout.  Each game has been low scoring, with Ottawa winning by scores of 1-0 and 2-1, while their shootout loss was by a score of 2-1.

Dec 12, 2013; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Mike Weber (6) and Ottawa Senators center Kyle Turris (7) battle for control of the puck in the second period at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports


Ottawa had a gut check win in a roller-coaster game in St. Louis, by a score of 5-4 in a shootout.  Buffalo scored first but it was all Pittsburgh after that, as the Penguins cruised to a 5-1 win last night.


Steve Ott, BUF:  The captain of the Sabres, he is a heart and soul player who could be on the move by the trade deadline.  He would be a complementary player on a good team, he is just miscast on the dreadful Sabres.  A thorn in the side of all opponents.

Jason Spezza, OTT:  Roundly criticized for his effort in overtime Monday against the Penguins, Spezza responded with a great 3 point effort on Tuesday.  How he responds tonight in a should-win situation will say a lot of things to a lot of doubters about his ability to lead this team going forward


1.  Brothers Murray – This will be the first game between the teams since Tim Murray left  the Senators to take over the GM duties of the Sabres.  Although there is no animosity, you can bet Tim would like his club to beat his old team.

2.  Much Needed Points – If Ottawa is going to make the playoffs, these are the kinds of game that 2 points are absolutely essential.  Buffalo is the worst team in the league and anything but a win, at home, would be a failure and bring up more questions.

3.  Get Away Day – This is Buffalo’s final game before the Olympic break.  Suffice to say, given the Sabres season so far, that the players heading to Sochi are looking forward to it, while the players not heading over are dying to get a break from this brutal season.