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Game 36 preview: Buffalo Sabres @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres on 29 December 2014.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators will look to end a three game losing streak when they host the Buffalo Sabres tonight. Once again Ottawa played well but could not convert enough of the many chances that they created unloading losing 3-2 in overtime to Detroit on Saturday.

The Senators will make Patrick Wiercioch, probably their second best defenceman, a healthy scratch. He will be replaced by Chris Phillips, probably a replacement level player. On the bright side it is only Buffalo. Although the Sabres did beat the Senators earlier in the month thanks to a couple of controversial goals.

Here are the lines from Sylvain St-Laurent.

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

Borowiecki - Karlsson
Cowen - Ceci
Phillips - Gryba

Anderson (starter)
Lehner

Some notes for tonight:

  • I really like Mike Hoffman. He's pretty cool. You should all love him too. Seeing him take two laps around the ice at full speed on Saturday was fantastic.
  • Hoffman also has received sheltered minutes like Patrick Wiercioch. Both are doing very well. Only one is a forward and thus has the box score numbers to get credit for their play.
  • Unless the Senators go on a run soon, they will likely fall far enough out of a playoff spot to become sellers. And let's face it they are not going to make it in.
  • It is really hard to not be bitter about this team isn't it? Maybe it is just me.
  • One thing that has looked really good recently has been the power play. The puck movement has been excellent.
  • Cody Ceci and Jared Cowen continue to struggle. Can't really do much there as the club doesn't really have an alternative.
  • Can this club be bad enough to get a top five pick? They are not that far off and trading Craig Anderson could help in that. It isn't fun to cheer for losses with more than half the season left though.
  • We are at least safe from trading futures for Chris Stewart right?
  • Jean-Gabriel Pageau might be a hero for life for that hat trick against the Habs. There were a few Pageau chants on Saturday. He has looked okay so far.

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 Mike Hoffman 11 Zemgus Girgensons 10
Assists Erik Karlsson 16 Tyler Ennis 15
Points Erik Karlsson 23 Tyler Ennis 23
Shots Erik Karlsson 135 Tyler Ennis 84
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:33 Tyler Myers 25:21

Category Ottawa Buffalo
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.54 20th 1.86 30th
Goals Against 2.69 18th 3.25 28th
Corsi % 48.07% 25th 37.73% 30th
Fenwick % 45.90% 27th 38.24% 30th
Shots For 29.2 22nd 23.6 10th
Shots Against 33.6 26th 35.7 30th