Sabres Kick Off 2023 in Ottawa
Sabres look to make it seven in a row.
Buffalo Sabres (18-14-2) vs. Ottawa Senators (16-17-3)
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | Canadian Tire Centre | Kanata, ON
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Senators Blog: Silver Seven Sens
Know Your Opponent
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.)
Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Alex Tuch
JJ Peterka - Dylan Cozens - Jack Quinn
Casey Mittelstadt - Tyson Jost - Victor Olofsson
Kyle Okposo - Peyton Krebs - Zemgus Girgensons
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
Brady Tkachuk - Tim Stutzle - Claude Giroux
Alex DeBrincat - Shane Pinto - Drake Batherson
Parker Kelly - Dylan Gambrell - Jake Lucchini
Derick Brassard - Mark Kastelic - Austin Watson
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