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Game 30 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Buffalo Sabres

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres on 15 December 2014.

USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators will look for their first regulation win in almost a month when they visit the Buffalo Sabres tonight. The Senators haven't won in regulation in 11 consecutive games dating back to 20 November against Nashville. Their last regulation win on the road was on 28 October in #Lumbus. Overall, only Colorado and Arizona have fewer regulation wins than the Senators.

On the bright side, the Senators are coming off a shootout win in Boston and Chris Phillips, Chris Neil and Zack Smith will be all out of the lineup for different reasons. Phillips' second consecutive healthy scratch is already proving Dave Cameron to be an improvement to Paul MacLean in at least one case.

Here are the lines from Bruce Garrioch.

MacArthur - Turris - Stone
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
Greening - Legwand - Michalek
Condra - Lazar - Chiasson

Borowiecki - Karlsson
Cowen - Ceci
Wiercioch - Gryba

Lehner (starter)
Anderson

Some notes for tonight:

  • Erik Karlsson has 22 shots on goal by himself in the last three games. His 118 shots on goal this season are three more than the combined 115 shots on goal this season by the other five defencemen playing tonight.
  • Don't look now but suddenly Mika Zibanejad is one goal behind Clarke MacArthur for the team lead. Zibanejad has five goals in his last five games.
  • Cody Ceci has still not taken a penalty this season.
  • Ceci and Jared Cowen played some tough situations and fared very poorly against Boston.
  • Patrick Wiercioch played some easier minutes and fared very well against Boston.
  • Despite playing with Chris Phillips for large portions of this season, Erik Karlsson is almost back to 50% in the all important Corsi stat.
  • Colin Greening remains the only player on the team without a point this season. Even Marc Methot managed one in the two games he played.
  • What is going on with Methot? Back on the injured reserve, it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify any sort of a long term contract to him.
  • The suddenly surging Sabres are now only three points behind Ottawa. They are 12-16-2 with a goal difference of -35. Ottawa is 12-12-5 with a goal difference of -5.

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from naturalstattrick.com.

Category Ottawa Buffalo
Player # Player #
Goals Clarke MacArthur 9 Zemgus Girgensons 9
Assists Kyle Turris 14 Tyler Ennis 13
Points Erik Karlsson 20 Tyler Ennis 21
Shots Erik Karlsson 118 Tyler Ennis 68
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:42 Tyler Myers 25:27

Category Ottawa Buffalo
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.52 20th 1.73 30th
Goals Against 2.72 18th 3.00 25th
Corsi % 48.24% 24th 37.24% 30th
Fenwick % 45.91% 28th 37.36% 30th
Shots For 29.1 23rd 23.0 30th
Shots Against 34.3 29th 36.1 30th