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Senators at Sabres preview: Kane returns, Ennis out as Buffalo hosts Ottawa

The Sabres are hoping home ice, a tired Ottawa team, and the return of Evander Kane will lead to a win.

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Game #13

Buffalo Sabres (5-5-2) vs. Ottawa Senators (7-5-0)

Puck drop: 7:30 p.m. EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY

TV: MSG-B, SN1, TVAS | Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation’s Senators Blog: Silver Seven

Three Questions

1. How will the Sabres respond to their poor effort in Boston?

The Sabres had possibly their worst performance of the young season on Monday, getting shut out by the Bruins 4-0 while committing a litany of penalties that saw them get dominated on special teams. Couple that with the Sabres (still) being one of the worst teams in the NHL at home, and I could see trouble brewing at the Key if they don’t get out to a fast start tonight.

The good news is that Ottawa played last night, losing to Nashville 3-1, so the Sabres will have the rest advantage. All the more reason to put the Sens on their heels right from the get-go.

2. How will Evander Kane look in his return from injury?

The Sabres get some good news tonight, as Evander Kane returns to the ice after missing the past few weeks with four cracked ribs. He said he’s not quite 100%, but is healthy enough to contribute.

Unfortunately, he replaces Tyler Ennis, who will miss tonight with a mid-body injury, according to Dan Bylsma. Ryan O’Reilly did not practice and will be a game time decision. Should he not be able to go as well, Hudson Fasching also returned to practice today.

3. Will the Buffalo defensemen be able to contribute on offense?

Much has been made by the Sabres players and coaches about how the d-men need to be more involved in the offensive side of the game, especially for a team that is lacking scoring punch as it is. The Sabres are the only team in the NHL without a goal from their defense, and I’m sure Dan Bylsma, along with all of us, would like to see that change very soon.

Projected BUF Lines

26 Matt Moulson - 90 Ryan O'Reilly - 21 Kyle Okposo
Evander Kane - 28 Zemgus Girgensons - 23 Sam Reinhart
82 Marcus Foligno - 22 Johan Larsson - 12 Brian Gionta
48 William Carrier - 27 Derek Grant - 73 Nicholas Baptiste

Josh Gorges - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
77 Dmitry Kulikov - 34 Casey Nelson
29 Jake McCabe - 6 Cody Franson

Goal: 40 Robin Lehner