Game 31: Ottawa Senators @ Buffalo Sabres

The Ottawa Senators will try once more to win a game as they look to snap a three game losing streak tonight. Tonight's opponents are the Buffalo Sabres and while Ottawa had dominated Buffalo until recent times, now Buffalo has won six straight against Ottawa.

Bobby Butler will be a healthy scratch tonight, being replaced by Zenon Konopka. That is the only change for tonight. Here are the lines:

Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Milan Michalek
Nick Foligno - Peter Regin - Daniel Alfredsson
Erik Condra - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Zenon Konopka - Jesse Winchester - Kaspars Daugavins

Jared Cowen - Erik Karlsson
Chris Phillips - David Rundblad
Brian Lee - Matt Carkner

Craig Anderson (starter)
Alex Auld

Talking points and statistics after the jump.

Here are my talking points for tonight:

  • Strong first period: The Senators were overwhelmed at the start against Vancouver. Can they get a good start this time? Or at least keep it tied after one?
  • Heavy reliance on top pair: With the injuries, will Ottawa continue to rely heavily on Karlsson and Cowen? Will Lee and Carkner get a little bit more ice time?
  • Spezza improvement: Jason Spezza hasn't been good lately. He has the linemates back that he had the most success with earlier in the season. Hopefully it can lead to a good night from Giggles.
  • Will Adnan stay awake: It's not even 5:00 yet and I am yawning. How will I last to the end of the game? Find out later.
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 2.93 10th 2.66 15th
Goals Against per game 3.43 30th 2.69 14th
5 on 5 GF/GA ratio 0.88 22nd 1.10 9th
Shots for per game 30.1 14th 29.7 17th
Shots against per game 31.7 26th 31.2 23rd
Power play % 17.9 12th 17.0 19th
Penalty kill % 80.4 23rd 85.8 7th
Category Ottawa Enemy - Buffalo
Player Value Player Value
Points Jason Spezza 28 Jason Pominville 31
Goals Milan Michalek 18 Thomas Vanek 14
Assists Erik Karlsson 23 Jason Pominville 21
PP Points Erik Karlsson 11 Jason Pominville 12
Shots Erik Karlsson 93 Thomas Vanek 95
Hits Nick Foligno 84 Robyn Regehr 78
Avg. Ice time Erik Karlsson 25:24 Christian Ehrhoff 24:30
Face-offs % Zenon Konopka 59.8 Paul Gaustad 57.8

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