The Sabres are in Ottawa tonight to face off with the Senators for the fourth time this season, and for the second meeting in just seven days.
Buffalo will look for payback after the 3-2 Overtime loss to the Sens a week ago at First Niagara Center. They’ll also look to rebound after an embarrassing 8-3 defeat in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Injuries continue to bombard the Sabres, who lost both Tyler Ennis and Rochester call-up Colin Stuart in the loss to the Penguins over the weekend. With those pair out, it now makes for nine different players currently off the roster.
The Sabres have once again been forced to dip into their AHL affiliate, bringing up Marcus Foligno and Derek Whitmore to fill the ranks. Both will make their NHL debuts this evening, and it should be an interesting experience for young Foligno as he faces off against the team which his older brother Nick is currently playing his fifth season with.
Thomas Vanek was unable to practice on Monday, but has been deemed probable to play in this evening’s match. That is perhaps a silver lining to the many woes the Sabres have seen lately, as the Sabres will need their leading goal scorer (and 6th in the league overall) if they hope to bounce back.
Having all of the firepower possible will benefit the Sabres, as the Senators stand at dead last in the entire NHL for goals against (3.5 per game). They’re also ranked only 24th in the Penalty Kill, which has an 80% success rate.
But Ottawa comes into tonight’s game on a high note after a gutsy 6-4 victory Friday night over the same Pittsburgh Penguins who recently crushed the Sabres. Ottawa sits only one point behind Buffalo in the standings, and with a win would propel themselves into the Top 8 of the Eastern Conference.
The action begins this evening at 7:30 p.m. EST. Fans can watch the contest on MSG or TSN, and can also listen in through WGR 550.