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[open thread] Sabres vs. Senators

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Final Score

There are plenty of storylines surrounding this game tonight between the Sabres and Sens.  If you think back to last year and the game when Chris Neil hit Chris Drury, there is still some leftover hatred from that game.  In addition to that these two teams have traded knocking each other out of the playoffs the past two seasons.  The Ottawa Senators are currently the cream of the crop in the Eastern Conference and a win against them on the road will help Buffalo prove they are worthy of a playoff spot.

Tonight will be the first game for the Sabres since the horrific injury to Richard Zednik on Sunday night at HSBC Arena.  Buffalo is in ninth place in the Eastern Conference and are just one point behind the Boston Bruins for eighth place.  

The Senators made a pretty big trade yesterday in an effort to build a team that can win the cup this year.  They acquired Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore from Carolina in exchange for Patrick Eaves and Joe Corvo.  Stillman and Commodore bring with them the experience of winning a cup and Stillman will certainly be an improvement offensively over Patrick Eaves.  As is the case with most trades it will take these guys a little while to adjust to their new surroundings but they improve an already potent team.

Buffalo Leaders

Goals:Derek Roy 21
Assists:Brian Campbell 35
Points:Jason Pominville 49
Plus/minus:Daniel Paille +12
PIM:Andrew Peters 75

Senators Leaders

Goals:Daniel Alfredsson 34
Assists:Jason Spezza 48
Points:Daniel Alfredsson 73
Plus/minus:Dany Heatley +34
PIM:Chris Neil 135

Projected Sabres lines

MacArthur-Hecht-Pominville
Vanek-Roy-Connolly
Paille-Gaustad-Kotalik
Ryan-Mair-Kaleta

Tallinder-Lydman
Spacek-Campbell
Kalinin-Pratt