The season continues ticking away as the Buffalo Sabres now face the Ottawa Senators in the 28th game for both teams. That just leaves 20 more chances after today to earn points in the standings.
Despite serious injuries to two of their major players in Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson, the Ottawa Senators have been holding their own in the standings. 4-2-4 in their last ten games has them in the middle of the pack for the playoff teams, and only a serious meltdown has them in danger of missing the playoffs. They are nine points ahead of the Buffalo Sabres who have fallen back into 14th place overall during their three days off.
The Buffalo Sabres record in the last ten games isn’t as horrible as you might think. Going 4-4-2 in that stretch, the only thing that differentiates the Sabres from the Senators is two points throughout that stretch.
Buffalo bring a slightly adjusted lineup into tonight’s contest. With the return of Ville Leino, the demotion of Mikhail Grigorenko, and the trade of T.J. Brennan, the future of the Buffalo Sabres is shaping up before our eyes. Will Brennan be the only move until the deadline, or is that just the first domino to fall this year?
This is the third meeting this year for the division rivals – and so far, Ottawa has been the better team. Buffalo is 0-2 against the Senators, and has been outscored 6-3 in the two games.
The key to the recent success of the Senators has been keeping games close. While only winning one game in their last seven, they have picked up six points over that span.
Ryan Miller remains questionable with a sinus infection – but could play tonight if he feels well enough. If not, Jhonas Enroth will resume his duties between the pipes, hoping to build off solid efforts against the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers, the latter providing him with his first win in over a year.
Game time is scheduled for 3 PM tonight.