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Tue, Dec 13, 2011 - 7:00 PM ET
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The Buffalo Sabres might be getting healthier just in time for what they've deemed an important set of games.

They'll try to begin that stretch by continuing their recent dominance of the visiting Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

Plagued by injuries for much of this season, Buffalo (15-12-2) had four players scratched and another four on injured reserve during a 4-1 home loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday, the team's first regulation defeat in four games.

The Sabres, though, might get a couple of those players back this week. Coach Lindy Ruff said Monday that defenseman Mike Weber (upper body) might return as early as Tuesday, and forwards Paul Gaustad (upper body) and Patrick Kaleta (lower body) could be back on the ice in any of the next three games.

Buffalo will face Northeast Division rivals Ottawa (13-13-4) and Toronto in its next two contests and four of its next five. The Sabres visit the Senators at Scotiabank Place next Tuesday as part of a three-game trip that begins in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

"It's a big week for us," Ruff said. "We're getting a little bit healthier, and that's a big plus for us. ... I think we've got a lot of good things coming back into the fold, and it should be just a great, emotional week. You get to play the teams you like to hate."

Ruff might label the Senators a team his club doesn't like, but the Sabres certainly seem to enjoy facing them. Buffalo is seeking a series-best seventh straight win over Ottawa and fourth in a row at home.

The Sabres earned a 5-1 victory at First Niagara Center against the Senators on Nov. 11 as Derek Roy had a goal and two assists. Roy also tallied a goal and the shootout winner in a 3-2 victory in Ottawa on Nov. 5.

Jhonas Enroth was in net for both of those games, but Buffalo might turn to Ryan Miller, who returned from a concussion Dec. 5, in this one.

Miller has had an up-and-down three games since coming back. He allowed a combined three goals in wins over Nashville and Florida, but gave up five in an overtime loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Miller has yielded four total goals during his three consecutive victories against the Senators - who enter this meeting with three straight losses - and is 5-1-0 with a 1.64 goals-against average in his last six matchups.

In its most recent defeat, Ottawa couldn't recover after giving up two goals in the first 8:23 to Vancouver and fell 4-1 on Saturday.

"We'll take some positives out of this game and move forward," said goaltender Craig Anderson, who is slated to start Tuesday.

Anderson has given up four goals in each of his last two contests and injuries to veteran defensemen Filip Kuba (shoulder) and Sergei Gonchar (upper body) haven't helped.

Anderson might want to keep an eye on Thomas Vanek, who has scored in two of the Sabres' past three games. Vanek has two goals and four assists over his last five matchups with the Senators, while Drew Stafford has six assists in his past four - including three in the Nov. 11 victory.

Tagged: Sabres, Senators, Craig Anderson, Ryan Miller

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