Buffalo Sabres Set To Face Ottawa Senators


The injury-plagued Buffalo Sabres will hobble into the Canadian Tire Centre tonight, taking on the sixth in the Atlantic Division Ottawa Senators, tonight at 7 p.m.

Feb 19, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Buffalo Sabres goalie Michal Neuvirth (34), center Cody Hodgson (19) and goalie Anders Lindback (35) celebrate win against the Philadelphia Flyers in the shootout period at Wells Fargo Center. The Sabres defeated the Flyers, 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

But don’t let their record fool you. Over their past ten games, Ottawa has surged nonetheless, going 7-1-2 and garnering points in 9 of those 10 games. On their recent west coast road trip, they topped both the Anaheim Ducks and LA Kings in shutout efforts, while only giving the San Jose Sharks two goals. In the road trip, they went on a 8-2 streak for goals for and goals against.

It is through this stretch of games that they are now putting pressure on the Boston Bruins for the final spot in the wild card playoffs.

Defenseman captain Erik Karlsson has led the Senator in points this season, going for 15 goals and 34 assists to lead Ottawa wuth 49 points. He started this 10 game streak with four straight two assist games, he complemented them with a one assist encore, a small two-game cold streak and a three game point streak leading into tonight.

Leading in goals scored, left winger Mike Hoffman has stepped up to the top line, playing left of Mika Zibanejad and opposite of Bobby Ryan. Clearly working, considering his entire line sits pretty inside the top ten. Hoffman’s 23 goals and 17 assists places him tied for fourth on the team with 40 points.

While Craig Anderson has carried the bulk of the Senators pipe time, head coach Dave Cameron has no problem going with the “Hamburglar” himself in the streaking goaltender Andrew Hammond since Anderson went down with an injury stemming back to January.

The 27-year old Hammond was called up to serve as back-up to Robin Lehner, who took over as starter, until a concussion on February 16th forced him out and thrusted Hammond in.

In that timeframe, Hammond went from a subpar AHL goalie, to an NHL standout in only six games.

Speaking of AHL, the Buffalo Sabres will be Hammonds next opponent.

Facing the Senators for the fourth and final time this season, Buffalo heads into Ottawa without two of their best in Josh Gorges and Zemgus Girgensons.

Unfortunately, Buffalo does not have the same luxury in the net, as recent acquisition in Chad Johnson seems to be day-to-day with a lower body injury that will likely keep him out of the lineup. Buffalo is going with Anders Lindback, opting to recall Andrey Makarov to serve the backup role in tonights game.

Buffalo played phone tag yet again with Rochester, also recalling Mikhail Grigorenko from Rochester for tonights game. Given that Rochester is on break for a week after their game tonight, so it’s a wonder if we will see Grigorenko for a length of time.

With Tyler Ennis returning for his second game since his injury, we can hope that he can pick up the scoring that was gutted from the team at the deadline.

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