The Buffalo Sabres (7-22-2) haven’t seen the same opponent in such a rapid turn around since they faced off in a home and home series with the Toronto Maple Leafs(16-12-3). Tonight they face off in Ottawa against the Ottawa Senators (12-14-6), a team they dispatched in a lengthy shootout on Tuesday evening.
With Tuesday’s win in the shootout, that moved Ryan Miller into the league lead for most shutout wins at 46, now just one ahead of Henrik Lundqvist. There is a good chance he can buffer that lead tonight, as the Sabres and Sens meet again. Both games this year between these teams has been close, with the first one almost making it to overtime before the Senators won 1-0. Buffalo needed to go 10 rounds in the shootout with Ottawa on Tuesday night to secure just their seventh victory of the season.
I wouldn’t expect tonight’s game to be any different than the emotion filled end to the game we saw on Tuesday. Both teams are struggling and will be finding anything to use against their opponents to spark an increase in motivation and momentum for their teams.
Alexander Sulzer remains the only injured player for the Buffalo Sabres, and while Ottawa is healthy, defenseman Jared Cowen will not be suiting up for tonight’s matchup. Cowen has been suspended for an illegal hit he took on Tuesday night against Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons. Girgensons was not injured on the play, nor were there any penalties called during the play.
It is a 7:30 contest tonight as the Sabres look to make it two in a row. Zemgus Girgensons will also be looking to build on three game point streak in which he has two goals and an assist.