Puck Drop: 7:30 PM | Canadian Tire Center | Ottawa, ON
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Senators Blog: Silver Seven
Know Your Opponent
Record: (4-5-2) | 10 PTS
Last 10: 4-5-1
Division Ranking: 6th in the Atlantic Division
Conference Ranking: 12th in the Eastern Conference
PP: 13th (22.9%)
PK: 27th (68.4%)
What to Watch
After two straight overtime losses, the Sabres need to capture two points in regulation. It’s important to avoid taking these losses early in the season - especially to these conference and division rivals.
As fans, we can certainly appreciate the improvements from recent seasons, and coming back to snag a point against Columbus is unquestionably an improvement. Unfortunately, allowing the tying goal in the final minute and losing the extra point in overtime is all too familiar.
As the team approaches the first quarter of the season, these key points put a separation between the team and their potential rivals for wild card spots. It is imperative for Buffalo to keep the distance between themselves and Ottawa, and a regulation win is the best way to do so.
2. Even keel
Buffalo has been diligently disciplined this season, playing shorthanded only 9:09 a night, on average. The team will have to keep playing wise and clean against Ottawa’s high-powered power play. The Sabres cannot afford to give Ottawa repeated advantages; the Senators are scoring on on nearly one out of every four opportunities.
Special teams have been a lighthouse for Buffalo - when they are playing well, their special teams make a huge difference. When they play poorly, it is the special teams that have let them down. Ottawa can be a team that controls play with their PP units, and Buffalo would do well to avoid it.
3. Hot start
The team faces another stretch of three games in four nights. After tonight’s game, the same teams will travel to Buffalo for the backend of a home-at-home matinee.
If the Sabres can set the tone on the road, the atmosphere in the building on Saturday will definitely be electric. While no one likes to hear that an early roadie against the Eastern Conference’s 12th place team is important, this game feels like it carries a lot of weight - especially knowing that there are two more games to play before the week come to an end.
Jeff Skinner - Jack Eichel - Jason Pominville
Remi Elie - Casey Mittelstadt - Sam Reinhart
Conor Sheary - Vladimir Sobotka - Kyle Okposo
Patrik Berglund - Johan Larsson - Zemgus Girgensons
Jake McCabe - Rasmus Ristolainen
Marco Scandella - Zach Bogosian
Rasmus Dahlin - Casey Nelson
Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton
Ryan Dzingel - Matt Duchene - Mark Stone
Alex Formenton - Chris Tierney - Bobby Ryan
Magnus Paajarvi - Colin White - Mikkel Boedker
Max McCormick - Tom Pyatt - Jack Rodewald
Thomas Chabot - Dylan Demelo
Maxime Lajoie - Cody Ceci
Christian Wolanin - Christian Jaros
Starting Goaltender: Craig Anderson