Sabres-Senators Preview

Aside from last week’s win over the Buffalo Sabres, the Ottawa

Senators haven’t been able to get things going offensively of

late.

Another matchup against Buffalo could help them do just

that.

The Senators look to take advantage of the visiting Sabres’

defensive woes again as these Northeast Division rivals square off

Tuesday night.

Ottawa averaged 3.4 goals in opening 5-1-1 but has since been

outscored 10-7 during a 1-3-1 stretch, with its only win coming 4-3

at home over last-place Buffalo (5-7-1) last Tuesday.

The Senators, who rank near the bottom of the league with 39

power-play opportunities, saw their struggles continue Saturday in

a 1-0 loss to Winnipeg. Ben Bishop made 36 saves, but Ottawa

(6-4-2) went 0 for 3 on the power play for the second consecutive

game.

“Collectively, we have to come together and find a way to create

offense, put pucks and bodies at the net, and gain more offensive

zone time. I have to do a better job of that myself,” said Kyle

Turris, who leads the team with 10 points. “We know we can do a lot

better, we just have to do it more consistently.”

Milan Michalek, who has one assist over the last six games,

shared the same sentiment.

“We have to put the pucks to the net more and be in front,” he

told the team’s official website. “That’s how goals are scored now.

We haven’t been doing that. We have to get back to the basics.”

So do the Sabres, but on the opposite end of the ice. Buffalo

has given up an NHL-high 46 goals and is among the worst in the

league in allowing 34.1 shots per game.

Defenseman Robyn Regehr’s return from a seven-game absence due

to a lower-body injury didn’t help much in Sunday’s 3-1 loss to

Boston. Tyler Ennis scored for the third time in four games and

Ryan Miller stopped 36 of 38 shots, dropping to 5-5-1 with a 2.97

goals-against average.

“We’re spending too much time in our own zone defensively, we

have to tighten things up there,” Regehr said. “We can’t keep

allowing 35-plus shots a game here, there’s just too many chances

against.”

In addition to its defensive troubles, Buffalo has gone 1 for 23

on the power play while losing four of six.

“Our power play has to be a little bit better,” said captain

Jason Pominville, who’s gone pointless in a season-high three

straight games. “We had a tough time getting set up (Sunday), so

that’s an area where we have to improve on.”

Pominville could have a hard time getting on track against Craig

Anderson, who is 6-2-2 with a league-low 1.49 GAA. Anderson,

though, has allowed three goals in back-to-back starts after

yielding two or fewer in each of his first eight.

Anderson made 20 saves against the Sabres last week to earn his

fourth consecutive win in this series. He helped hold Thomas Vanek,

who leads the NHL with 23 points, off the stat sheet. Vanek’s only

other pointless effort came Sunday.

Miller had surrendered four goals in five consecutive games

before yielding two in each of his last two. Miller, who didn’t

face Ottawa last Tuesday, is 6-2-1 with a 2.07 GAA in his last nine

games against the Senators.

The Sabres had won six of seven at Ottawa before coming up short

last week.