ottawa SENATORS (22-10-5-3)
buffalo SABRES (16-20-5-1)
8pm ET, HSBC Arena, Buffalo, NY
TV: Empire; Radio: WNSA
> EXPECTED STARTING GOALIES
OTT - #40 patrick LALIME (13-10-4, 2.10, .912, 2 SO)
BUF - #43 martin BIRON (8-9-4, 2.60, .910, 0 SO)
> NEWS & NOTES: Buffalo recalled D Doug Janik from Rochester (AHL) for tonight's game... With a win tonight, the Sabres jump into 10th in the East... The Ottawa Senators can stretch their unbeaten streak to a team-record 12 games o Friday night when they visit the Buffalo Sabres... Ottawa is 9-0-2 since a 3-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on December 13... The Senators have won six in a row and are just five points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for first place in the Eastern Conference and in the Northest Division... The Senators coasted to a 7-1 win at Toronto on Thursday. Defenseman Wade Redden scored two goals and set up another as Ottawa scored five times in the first period against a team that was without Mats Sundin, Alexander Mogilny, Owen Nolan and Robert Reichel... The Sabres are unbeaten in their last five home games (3-0-2). Defenseman Alexei Zhitnik had the only Buffalo goal in Wednesday's 1-1 home tie with the Philadelphia Flyers... Wednesday was the second straight game the Sabres endured a poor first period. the were outshot, 17-2, in the first period after allowing 20 first-period shots a night earlier in a 3-1 loss at Montreal.
L mike FISHER (IR-elbow)
*D chris PHILLIPS (left hand)
*D brian POTHIER (neck)
R vaclav VARADA (IR-left knee)
*L antoine VERMETTE (left shoulder)
D anton VOLCHENKOV (IR-right shoulder)
D jay McKEE (knee)
D james PATRICK (face)
C tim CONNOLLY (IR-concussion)
G mika NORONEN (IR-groin)
L taylor PYATT (knee)
(*could play tonight)
> ALL TIME SERIES
61 GP, BUF 35 - OTT 16 - 10 TIES
> SEASON SERIES
Buffalo leads, 1-0-2
11/01 - BUF 1 @ OTT 1
11/17 - BUF 2 @ OTT 1
12/23 - OTT 2 @ BUF 2
01/09 - Ottawa @ Buffalo
12/28 - Buffalo @ Ottawa
03/03 - Ottawa @ Buffalo
> LEADING SCORERS
18 marian HOSSA 18-24-42
11 daniel ALFREDSSON 17-22-39
39 jason SPEZZA 14-17-31
14 radek BONK 10-17-27
21 brian SMOLINSKI 10-14-24
48 daniel BRIERE 12-15-27
17 j-p DUMONT 11-14-25
81 miro SATAN 15-8-23
23 chris DRURY 7-16-23
37 curtis BROWN 6-11-17
This game scares me. If Sabres continue to give a huge shooting margin in the first period like MTL and PHIL, we could be in for a long night. Minus McKee, who was very physical againt Philly, makes it even scarier. Marty has to be on top of his game tonight. We can't afford a single soft goal.
Some optimism because we seem to do well against OTT historically.
Very entertaining first period. Pleanty of scoring chances for both teams, with the Sabres getting the slight edge. So far so good, the team seems to be up for the game and they're playing with a lot of intensity. Let's see how they come out for the second period.
Sabres win while facing the adversity of blowing a 2 goal lead in less than a minute I believe it was. Nice effort tonight, solid game from Biron. But Lalime is my first star. This should have been a 4 or 5 to 2 decision, but Lalime was tremendous.
Hasek is long gone but the yips continue for the Sens at HSBC.
This will hopefully be the one and only time I reply to myself on Hockeysfuture.com (it's kind of like kissing your sister I think. I say I think because I don't have any sisters..but I digress).............
Sure enough a one goal loss by the Sens...........It sucks being the son of Kreskin sometimes.
One of the best games I've seen all year. And happily, 18K+ also witnessed it and many got to go home with a win. I was impressed with the number of committed Sens fans who made the trip---I gave directions to a couple car-loads of them and also spoke to a couple in the bar who were hanging around the Bubble Hockey at Pearl St. Nice guys, helluva committment to drive all the way down from Western (in London) for the game.
The defense was strong for most of the game---the thought Tallinder and Campbell had their steadiest games of the entire year. Fitzpatrick attoned for blowing the check in front of the net on the Sens second goal by snapping in the winner and the Zhitnik-Kalinin combo continued to tick.
And Biron made some phenominal stops. If he can string together a final 40 games as he did 2 years ago, there may be some playoff hopes yet alive come the deadline....