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Preview: Sabres in search of victory against last place Senators

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1-8-1 in their last 10 games, the Sabres travel to Ottawa looking for two points

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Game 75

Buffalo Sabres (31-35-9) vs. Ottawa Senators (26-43-6)

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM | Canadian Tire Center | Ottawa, ON

TV: MSG-B, MSG+

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Senators Blog: Silver Seven

Know Your Opponent

Ottawa Senators

Record: 26-43-6

Last 10: 4-5-1

Division Ranking: 8th in the Atlantic Division

Conference Ranking: 16th in the Eastern Conference

PP: 15th (20.3%)

PK: 23rd (79.1%)

What to Watch

1. Mittelstadt back in?

With just eight games left on the docket, the Sabres made a head-scratching decision to bench Casey Mittelstadt last night in a 3-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils. The decision is particularly bizarre considering the team’s lack of depth down the middle and Mittelstadt’s improved play during the second half of the season. We’ll see if he makes a return. After all, the nightly lineup is based on wins and losses, right?

2. Inconsistency in net

Both the Sabres and the Senators have struggled between the pipes this season. Fans in Buffalo are well-versed in the performance dip we’ve seen from both Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark since November. On the other side, Craig Anderson and former-Sabre, Anders Nilsson have left a lot to be desired behind a patchwork defensive corps. Last week, Anderson finally achieved victory against the Edmonton Oilers after losing 13-consecutive games prior.

3. Last few chances at a win

This contest isn’t the last time these two teams will square-off this season. Their final matchup will take place in Buffalo on April 4. With tough gamesdown the stretch, this might be their last chance to secure two points.

4. Will Borgen recalled

Phil Housley mentioned this morning on WGR550 that he had some players sick and banged up. We’ll if and where Borgen plays tonight later.

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Conor Sheary - Jack Eichel - Alex Nylander

Jeff Skinner - Evan Rodrigues - Sam Reinhart

Tage Thompson - Vladimir Sobotka - Jason Pominville

Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Kyle Okposo

Defense

Zach Bogosian - Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin - Brandon Montour

Marco Scandella - Casey Nelson

Will Borgen

Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton (expected)

Ottawa Senators

Forwards

Brady Tkachuk - Colin White - Max Veronneau

Rudolfs Balcers - Chris Tierney - Magnus Paajarvi

Oscar Lindberg - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Bobby Ryan

Anthony Duclair - Brian Gibbons - Mikkel Boedker

Defense

Thomas Chabot - Christian Jaros

Christian Wolanin - Dylan Demelo

Ben Harpur - Mark Borowiecki

Starting Goaltender: Craig Anderson