Game 70: Buffalo Sabres @ Ottawa Senators

It is game 70 for the season, it has really gone by quickly hasn't it? The Ottawa Senators will look for their third straight win as they host the Buffalo Sabres tonight. It is the sixth and final meeting between the two clubs. Buffalo won the first two meetings of the season but Ottawa has won the last three and leads the season series at 3-1-1.

Erik Karlsson is a game-time decision for tonight's game after getting banged up in the last few games. If he doesn't go, it is worth mentioning that the 31 December game against the Sabres was the only game Ottawa has won all season with both Karlsson and Jason Spezza held pointless. Here are the lines for tonight (if Karlsson does play) courtesy of Erin Nicks.

Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Milan Michalek
Rob Klinkhammer - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson
Nick Foligno - Jim O'Brien - Chris Neil
Kaspars Daugavins - Zack Smith - Erik Condra

Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen - Sergei Gonchar
Chris Phillips - Matt Gilroy

Ben Bishop (starter)
Alex Auld

More after the jump.

Here are some things to discuss for tonight:

  • Will Erik Karlsson play: Probably not a bad idea to rest Karlsson if he is banged up, as the Senators have an eight-point lead on 9th place Winnipeg with 13 games to go. Ottawa doesn't play again until Wednesday after tonight, so it will give him a nice break. If he does play, what kind of game will he have?
  • Turris on mini-run: Kyle Turris has scored a goal in two straight games and a point in three straight. He also has nine shots in the three games. His return to form has coincided with Jason Spezza cooling off a little bit.
  • Strong goaltending: The Senators have done just fine without Craig Anderson, winning four out of the six games and getting excellent goaltending in a fifth game as well. More of the same will be very helpful.
  • Faint division hopes: The Bruins lost in regulation to Washington this afternoon. Tomorrow, the Bruins play a road game against a Penguins club that has won eight in a row. A win tonight would mean there is a decent chance Ottawa finishes the weekend a point out of the division lead and Boston having only two games in hand.

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