Game 15: Buffalo Sabres @ Ottawa Senators

The Ottawa Senators will look to snap a two-game losing when they host the Buffalo Sabres at Scotiabank Place tonight. There are no changes to the lineup, which means Craig Anderson will start again with David Rundblad and Zenon Konopka the healthy scratches. This will conclude a stretch of four straight games against division rivals. The Senators beat Toronto before losing to Boston and Montreal.

I don't know what the lines are, so I am going to assume they will start the same as last night.

Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Milan Michalek
Nick Foligno - Stéphane Da Costa - Bobby Butler
Kaspars Daugvins - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Erik Condra - Jesse Winchester - Nikita Filatov

Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Sergei Gonchar - Jared Cowen
Chris Phillips - Brian Lee

Craig Anderson (starter)
Alex Auld

Stats and talking points after the jump.

Here are my talking points:

  • Brian Lee plays again: I thought David Rundblad would return tonight after Brian Lee struggled last night. However, Lee keeps his place after Paul MacLean felt he improved in the second and third periods. Which is fair enough to give him a couple games after being out so long.
  • Back-to-back games: Both Buffalo and Ottawa played last night, but Ottawa didn't have to travel. Hopefully Ottawa will have more energy late in the game than Buffalo.
  • Spezza struggling: After racking up 15 points in his first 11 games, Spezza has been held scoreless the last three games. He didn't get a single shot on target last night. Can Spezza rebound and carry the club tonight? Spezza has an incredible 58 points in 43 games against Buffalo.
  • Defensive points: Filip Kuba is tied for sixth in points on Ottawa, making it three defenceman in the top six with Erik Karlsson tied for second and Sergei Gonchar fourth. Karlsson had seven shots on net last night.

Here are the 2011-2012 comparative statistics for the Senators and the Sabres:

Category Ottawa Enemy - Buffalo
Value Rank Value Rank
Goals For per game 2.86 7th 2.75 12th
Goals Against per game 3.71 30th 2.17 5th
5 on 5 GF/GA ratio 0.65 29th 1.33 5th
Shots for per game 31.0 13th 30.8 14th
Shots against per game 30.9 21st 31.2 22nd
Power play % 26.5 2nd 17.5 14th
Penalty kill % 74.2 26th 93.0 1st
Category Ottawa Enemy - Buffalo
Player Value Player Value
Points Jason Spezza 15 Thomas Vanek 16
Goals Milan Michalek 8 Thomas Vanek 8
Assists Erik Karlsson 12 Jason Pominville 10
PP Points Jason Spezza 7 Jason Pominville 6
Shots Erik Karlsson 47 Thomas Vanek 45
Hits Chris Neil 41 Robyn Regehr 32
Avg. Ice time Erik Karlsson 25:18 Christian Ehrhoff 23:55
Face-offs % Jesse Winchester 68.3 Derek Roy 58.5

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