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Buffalo Sabres vs. Ottawa Senators

Buffalo Sabres (19-15-5) Game # 40 Ottawa Senators (13-18-6)
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vs.

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Date: January 6, 2009
Location: Buffalo, NY
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Arena: HSBC Arena
TV: MSG-B SBN Affiliate/ Blogs
Radio:

WGR (550AM)

Season Series 0-1-0
Final Score Buffalo 4 - Ottawa 2

It's been awhile since the Sabres and Senators have played each other but the circumstances are eerily similar. The Sabres are coming off of a couple of good games and the Senators are coming in as a team that is struggling horribly. The last meeting was a frustrating 5-2 loss for the Sabres, what will tonight hold?

Buffalo has played two really good games recently, beating the Maple Leafs 4-1 on New Year's Day and beating the first place Bruins 4-2 on Saturday afternoon but somehow it's tonight's game that may somehow define this team. Let's be honest with ourselves, this team has never had a problem getting motivated to play a first place team on the road. They do however lack motivation when playing a last place team at home.

There is something about the Ottawa Senators that brings out the hatred in me. Plenty of people have issues with the Toronto Maple Leafs but for me it's the Ottawa Senators that bring out the passion. Maybe it;s because of the playoff history between the two teams or maybe it's because of Chris Neil and his cheap shot on Chris Drury a few years back. Maybe it's because Sens fans will defend the hit on Drury but cry foul when Daniel Alfredsson was hit by Mark Bell last season. It may even be that I can't stand Bruce Garrioch but that can't be right because I can't stand Bucky Gleason either and yet I like the Sabres. I'm really not sure what it is but I hope the Sabres have the same intensity tonight that I have right now.

Don't forget to get your SPG Picks in...Lion Alum was the winner again but not eligible for prize this time. By the way...I'm sending it out this week finally.

Injuries

It looks like Sabres Captain Craig Rivet will be back in the lineup after suffering an injury a couple of weeks back. In the absence of Rivet, rookie defenseman Chris Butler has come up from Portland and has played pretty well. However, it looks like he will be sent back to Portland if Teppo Numminen is able to play. Numminen missed practice yesterday with an undisclosed illness.

Tim Connolly will not be in the lineup tonight but he is close to returning and may even play on Friday when the Sabres host the Rangers.

Max Afinogenov is out of the lineup with a groin injury and Lindy Ruff doesn't think it will be a short term injury. It's not a big deal because Max has been in and out of the lineup as a healthy scratch anyway. The only problem caused by the injury will be the opportunity to trade him away but he should be healthy by the trade deadline.

Starting Goalies


GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008 - Ryan Miller 32 1876 17 10 4 3 80 2.56 918 838 .913 3


GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008 - Alex Auld 24 1464 9 10 5 3 64 2.62 692 628 .908 0



Previous Meeting


Final - 10.27.2008 1 2 3 Total
Ottawa Senators 1 3 1 5
Buffalo Sabres 0 0 2 2

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