The Ottawa Senators haven’t been winning consistently of late,
but a home-and-home series against the scuffling Buffalo Sabres
might help them generate some momentum.
The Senators will try to earn back-to-back victories for the
first time in a month by adding to their recent success against the
Sabres on Tuesday night.
Ottawa (12-14-5) earned just its fourth win in the last 12 games
Monday with its first shootout victory in five tries this season.
Jason Spezza was the only player to score in the extra session –
the team’s only conversion in 13 shootout attempts – in a 5-4
victory against Philadelphia, and Clarke MacArthur had a pair of
goals in regulation.
“It’s about time,” goaltender Craig Anderson said. “I think
we’ve been in this situation a few times and haven’t been on the
right side of that. “We find a way to get two points, and that’s
really all that mattered. You’ve got to be excited about two
MacArthur has eight goals and five assists in his last 11 games
and will try to keep rolling in a matchup against one of his former
teams. The winger played his first three-plus seasons in Buffalo,
contributing to a 2006-07 squad that won the Presidents’ Trophy
before losing to Ottawa in the Eastern Conference finals.
“He has probably been our most consistent guy all year,” Spezza
said of MacArthur. “Even at the start of the year when he wasn’t
scoring, you just knew it was a matter of time. Now that he is,
he’s driving us offensively and doing a lot of great things. …
He’s been a heck of a pickup.”
Those days probably seem like a distant memory for the Sabres
(6-22-2), whose 14 points are easily the NHL’s fewest. Buffalo is
1-7-1 in its last nine after a 3-2 loss in Montreal on Saturday and
is 3-12-1 at home.
Ottawa has won four of five in Buffalo and is 7-1-1 in the last
nine overall matchups. The Senators handed the Sabres their first
home loss of the season, 1-0 on Oct. 4, with Craig Anderson making
35 saves and defenseman Erik Karlsson scoring with 1:35
The Senators put up 46 shots in that game – tied for their most
in regulation this season – including 23 in the opening period.
Another such effort might help Ottawa post consecutive victories
for the first time since claiming a season-high three straight wins
The Sabres will likely have a new top line as they try to deny
the Senators that win streak. Coach Ted Nolan put Cody Hodgson,
Matt Moulson and Drew Stafford in three different pairings in
Moulson could remain on the top line, but with Tyler Ennis at
center and rookie Zemgus Girgensons at the other wing.
“Our top line was having a little trouble, maybe the chemistry
wasn’t quite right so we talked to them and we decided that instead
of having one (scoring line), we would try to have three,” Nolan
said. “We’re going to have to turn this around together. It’s not
going to be one or two individuals. It’s going to have to be a
Karlsson has had few problems scoring in recent matchups against
Buffalo with six goals and an assist in the last six. Kyle Turris
has two goals and four assists in his past five games against the
The Senators will host Buffalo on Thursday night.