Sabres host Senators in division tilt

The Buffalo Sabres (6-22-2) had a rough week last week, losing the two games they played against the Rangers and Canadiens. They will look to snap another losing streak tonight against the Ottawa Senators (12-14-5) at the First Niagara Center.

The last time these two teams met, the Senators came with away with a 1-0 victory in Buffalo’s home opener on October 4th. Erik Karlsson scored the game-winning goal with 1:35 remaining in the game to give Ottawa the victory. Ryan Miller was the star of the game, making 45 saves in the losing effort.

The Sabres have lost three in a row coming into tonight’s game, but have shown some signs of improvements in those three games. Certain players, like Tyler Myers, feel as if things are improving for the team on and off the ice. One large contribution to the change has been the hiring of Ted Nolan.

“I definitely think it’s getting better,” said Myers on Monday. “We’re not getting absolutely abominated like we were in previous games. We’re starting to play as a team, and not only play as a team, but also play simple as a team.”

Monday’s practice saw a shake-up of lines by interim head coach, Ted Nolan. The biggest move was Cody Hodgson being moved from the first line to the third line, centering Luke Adam and Matt D’Agostini. Marcus Foligno moved from the fourth line to the first line with Drew Stafford and Steve Ott. Zemgus Girgensons is now on a line with Matt Moulson and Tyler Ennis.

“Chemistry’s just a huge part of this game. Sometimes it’s instant, sometimes it takes a little while to develop,” said Cody Hodgson. “It doesn’t matter which line you’re playing with, you’ve got to play your game and maybe we’ll adapt or mesh and hopefully it does.”

For Ottawa, they are coming off of a thrilling 5-4 shootout win against Philadelphia on Monday night. Clarke MacArthur had two goals in the contest while Bobby Ryan and Jason Spezza each had two assists. Senators captain, Jason Spezza, won the game in the third round of the shootout.

Both teams are relatively healthy coming into tonight’s game. Alex Sulzer is on injured reserve for Buffalo, but he could be ready to go for tonight’s game if he dresses. For Ottawa, they are free of any injuries remain healthy.

For Buffalo, Ville Leino and Mike Weber will be scratches for tonight’s game. Buffalo will turn back to Ryan Miller in the nets tonight, while Robin Lehner will patrol the nets for Ottawa.

Opening faceoff is scheduled for 7:05pm tonight. The game can be viewed on MSG and heard on WGR 550 AM.

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