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Ottawa
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36-35-11
Buffalo
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41-32-9

23 SOG
32 SOG
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Senators-Sabres Preview

Wednesday, 02.11.2009 / 7:30 PM

Associated Press

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Senators-Sabres Preview
Ottawa Senators vs. Buffalo Sabres

It's probably too late for the Ottawa Senators to think about a playoff berth, but recording back-to-back wins for the first time in four weeks would be a nice way to get back on track.

The Senators look to sweep the home-and-home set with Northeast Division foe Buffalo on Wednesday night, but face a Sabres club that's won five straight at home.

  News: Sabres Recall Gerbe
  Lindy Ruff: Audio | Video
  Nathan Gerbe: Audio | Video
  Derek Roy: Audio | Video
  Stats: Game Notes For Tonight
  Roster: Interactive Depth Chart
  Driving: Peace Bridge Authority

Ottawa (18-25-8) looks for consecutive wins for the first time since Jan. 13-14 following Saturday's 3-2 shootout victory over the Sabres. The Senators snapped a four-game slide as Mike Fisher notched the game-winner past Ryan Miller in the fourth round.

It was Fisher's third career shootout goal and first since a 3-2 victory over Buffalo on Jan. 10, 2008.

Saturday's win was the first for Ottawa coach Cory Clouston, who moved up from AHL Binghamton following the firing of Craig Hartsburg on Feb. 2.

"It's nice to get a win period, but to get it in the shootout is a bonus because we've struggled in them," said center Jason Spezza, who has four goals and two assists as the Senators have won two of three against the Sabres in 2008-09. "To get Cory his first win, we're really happy about it. We played with a little bit more confidence and we're starting to believe in ourselves and it shows."

Ottawa, which improved to 2-0-5 in shootouts this season, has scored three goals in each of its last two games after getting shut out twice during a three-game skid from Jan. 30-Feb. 3.

The Senators are among the league's lowest-scoring teams, averaging 2.35 goals. They're even worse on the road, where they score 2.08 goals per contest.

Ottawa opens a five-game trip on Wednesday.

Brian Elliott had one of his best starts of the season on Saturday, stopping 28 shots, as well as two in the shootout. Alex Auld started the Senators' two games in Buffalo this season, recording a 2.52 GAA as the teams split those matchups.

The Sabres return to HSBC Arena, where they haven't lost since a 4-2 defeat to Washington on Dec. 30.

Buffalo (28-20-6) had its two-game winning streak snapped on Saturday, falling to 3-6-4 in the second game of back-to-back sets this season. The Sabres defeated visiting Montreal 3-2 on Friday.

"After playing last night I thought we played a real strong first period," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said on Saturday. "We made a big mistake late in the second that cost us a goal, but I thought we came out at the start of the third focused and ready to go at it again."

The Sabres will have to find a replacement for their top goal scorer, Thomas Vanek. The fourth-year left wing, who leads Buffalo with 32 goals and 52 points, suffered a fractured jaw in Saturday's loss after getting hit with the puck in the first period. Vanek had surgery on Sunday and is expected to be out for up to four weeks.

Andrej Sekera is questionable for Wednesday's game after skating with the team on Monday. The defenseman has been sidelined the past 11 games with an ankle injury suffered in a 4-1 loss to Chicago on Jan. 14.

"You just have to get over it and make sure that it heals pretty good because you don't want to get injured again and miss a couple games because it didn't," Sekera told the team's official Web site.

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 17 '09BUF 2 at OTT 4D. Alfredsson
Mar 07 '09BUF 3 at OTT 6C. Campoli
Feb 11 '09OTT 3 at BUF 1S. Donovan
Feb 07 '09BUF 2 at OTT 3 - SOM. Fisher
Jan 06 '09OTT 2 at BUF 4D. Roy
Oct 27 '08OTT 5 at BUF 2J. Spezza
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
D. Alfredsson51163248-31860
D. Heatley52222446-960112
J. Spezza52202242-104273
F. Kuba4412526+61810
A. Vermette5271219-114020
M. Fisher4871118-103701
N. Foligno518816-174230
C. Kelly526814-43201
A. Picard456814-1861
J. Ruutu4831013-29700
J. Winchester463811-42001
C. Phillips524610-174400
B. Bell284610-61431
S. Donovan42538+21401
D. McAmmond39347+21402
C. Neil44246-1212700
B. Lee28156-6811
A. Volchenkov39224-112401
C. Schubert35134-72010
I. Zubov10022-1000
J. Smith51101-64501
P. Regin6101+0001
R. Shannon5011+0000
C. Bass12000-21500
L. Richardson2000-3200
M. Carkner1000+0000
Z. Smith1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
A. Auld279-13-5707562.60.907
B. Elliott126-3-2273292.34.918
M. Gerber144-9-1403972.86.899
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
T. Vanek54322052+130154
D. Roy55193150+42247
J. Pominville55123042-21441
D. Stafford52151934+121850
A. Kotalik48111627-42661
C. MacArthur53121224-73850
J. Spacek5332124+21820
T. Connolly21111021+4223
J. Hecht4361117-102721
P. Gaustad3861016+15121
D. Paille5051015-61800
T. Numminen4921315-42011
A. Mair536814+48601
T. Lydman5411314-13400
A. Sekera4311213-111210
M. Afinogenov3421012-141200
C. Rivet3711112-17500
M. Ellis31437+3801
N. Paetsch21246+02500
H. Tallinder43156-22201
P. Kaleta29325-15700
M. Mancari7112-4400
C. Butler22022+61000
A. Peters26011-28100
N. Gerbe7011+3400
M. Weber7000-31900
M. Gragnani4000+2200
T. Kennedy1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
R. Miller4626-14-511213872.46.919
P. Lalime112-7-1322923.17.890