Sabres look to complete home-and-home sweep


On Tuesday night, the Buffalo Sabres (7-22-2) and the Ottawa Senators (12-14-6) squared off at the First Niagara Center in a well-fought, defensive battle. Tonight, Buffalo finishes the second end of the home-and-home with Ottawa in the Canadian capital.

The Senators jumped to a quick 1-0 lead on Tuesday, but Zemgus Girgensons later tied the game 1-1. The game remained tied, leading to overtime, and eventually a 10-round shootout. Both teams went back and forth in the shootout until, in the tenth round, Girgensons beat Robin Lehner, and Ryan Miller stopped Erik Condra to preserve the 2-1 win.

“When things are going the way they are, we are not going to get any breaks. We have to work our way through certain things, and tonight was another example of that,” said interim coach, Ted Nolan following the game. “You give this team a lot of credit. They seem to have a lot of fun.”

Tuesday night, Zemgus Girgensons had a big night on the ice for the Sabres. He scored the tying goal in the second, and the game-winning goal in the shootout. He also registered three hits in 17:31 of total ice-time. Girgensons now has points in three consecutive games, and has now jumped to play on the first line with Matt Moulson and Tyler Ennis.

“I think we just worked as a team today. That’s why we came out with the win,” said Girgensons on Tuesday night. “All the guys were going. Our line was going all the time, we could’ve had a couple more here and our line just clicked here.”

Ville Leino and Mike Weber were scratched on Tuesday night, but will return to the lineup tonight. Brayden McNabb will be a healthy scratch, and Cody Hodgson will nurse a lower-body injury tonight. According to Ted Nolan, Hodgson will only miss one game, and should be ready for Saturday’s game against Calgary. Alex Sulzer is still listed on injured reserve, but seems healthy and ready to go when needed. Tyler Myers was hit with a shot in the neck area in overtime on Tuesday, but he should be good to play.

For Ottawa, everyone is healthy. However, after a talk with Brendan Shanahan, Ottawa defenseman, Jared Cowen, will sit for tonight’s game and another one after. Cowen was responsible for an elbow to the head of Zemgus Girgensons in the third period on Tuesday night. Cowen was also responsible for a high hit on Pavel Datsyuk a few weeks back which concussed Datsyuk.

It could be a battle of goaltenders looking to solidify a starting role on Team USA for the Sochi Olympics in February. Ryan Miller could get the call once again for the Sabres, while Craig Anderson may get the start for Ottawa. Robin Lehner was in net Tuesday night for Ottawa in Buffalo.

Faceoff is scheduled to be at 7:35pm from the Canadian Tire Center. Tonight’s game can be viewed on MSG and Bell TV in Canada. The game can be heard, as always, on WGR 550 AM.

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