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Sabres Kick Off 2023 in Ottawa

Sabres look to make it seven in a row.

Buffalo Sabres v Boston Bruins Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Game 35

Buffalo Sabres (18-14-2) vs. Ottawa Senators (16-17-3)

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | Canadian Tire Centre | Kanata, ON

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Senators Blog: Silver Seven Sens

Know Your Opponent

Ottawa Senators

Record: (16-17-3)

Last Game: 4-2 loss to Detroit

Division Ranking: 7th in Atlantic Division

PP: 27.2% (6th)

PK: 81.3% (11th)

What to Watch

1. Lucky Number Seven?

The Sabres are riding a six-game winning streak heading into the new year, matched by both the Buffalo Bills and the Rochester Americans. The Sabres have been on an absolute tear as of late, and no doubt Saturday’s big overtime win over the top team in the NHL will only further help boost their morale.

The last time the Sabres won seven games in a row came during the 2018-19 season, when the team won ten straight from November 8 to November 27.

2. Tuch Yeah!

Alex Tuch is clearly enjoying his time in the Sabres organization. He recorded a four-point game in Saturday’s win over Boston and, according to Sabres PR, has 28 points in his last 19 games. His 39 points this season, which includes 17 goals and 22 assists, is second on the Sabres, only to Tage Thompson.

Speaking of, Thompson became the first Sabres player to surpass the 50-point mark with his performance on Saturday. He now has 51 points on the season, including 48 points in his last 27 games and 10 points in his last six games. (H/T to Sabres PR for the breakdown.)

Jeff Skinner has a 10-game personal point streak going, with 17 points in that stretch, and Dylan Cozens has 26 points in his last 21 games. Overall, there’s just a lot of offensive talent across this team, and we’ll see what they can do against Ottawa this evening.

3. Back to Andy

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will get a much-deserved rest tonight after stopping 37 of 40 shots faced in the win over the Bruins. With that, the Sabres will rely on Craig Anderson in goal as he faces his former team. Anderson has appeared in 13 games and started 12 games this season, with a 7-4-1 record and .922 save percentage. He has allowed an average of 2.65 goals per game, but hasn’t played since December 17. (You can’t blame the Sabres for riding the hot hand of UPL, though.)

Per MoneyPuck.com, Anderson has 5.6 goals-saved above expected this season. (UPL is at 6.0 in the same statistic.)

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Alex Tuch

JJ Peterka - Dylan Cozens - Jack Quinn

Casey Mittelstadt - Tyson Jost - Victor Olofsson

Kyle Okposo - Peyton Krebs - Zemgus Girgensons

Defense

Mattias Samuelsson - Rasmus Dahlin

Owen Power - Kale Clague

Jacob Bryson - Ilya Lyubushkin

Goaltenders: Craig Anderson (starter), Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

Scratches: Vinnie Hinostroza, Rasmus Asplund

Injuries: Eric Comrie, Henri Jokiharju

Ottawa Senators

Forwards

Brady Tkachuk - Tim Stutzle - Claude Giroux

Alex DeBrincat - Shane Pinto - Drake Batherson

Parker Kelly - Dylan Gambrell - Jake Lucchini

Derick Brassard - Mark Kastelic - Austin Watson

Defense

Thomas Chabot - Artem Zub

Jake Sanderson - Travis Hamonic

Nick Holden - Jacob Bernard-Docker

Goaltenders: Anton Forsberg, Cam Talbot

Injuries: Josh Norris, Mathieu Joseph, Nikita Zaitsev