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Sens eyeing a Buffalo shuffle

Team hopes to extend recent run of success at HSBC Arena tonight

Tuesday, 01.6.2009 / 1:33 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Sens eyeing a Buffalo shuffle
The road has often been bumpy for the Ottawa Senators this season.

But in recent times, at least, the Senators have managed to find a comfort zone at HSBC Arena in Buffalo. Ottawa is 9-2-1 in the Sabres' home building since the start of the 2006-07 season, including three playoff victories in the Eastern Conference final in 2007 and a 5-2 triumph back on Oct. 27.

They'd settle for a similar result tonight, when the teams meet in Buffalo (7 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet East, Team 1200) in a matchup that is of high importance for the Senators. They trail the Sabres, who hold down the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, by 11 points and hold two games in hand.

"We've had some success here (in Buffalo) and some good battles here and in Ottawa," Senators forward Dany Heatley said after the team's pre-game skate earlier today. "It's a building and it's a team we get up to play. Hopefully, we have another good one here tonight."

Added captain Daniel Alfredsson: "We've played pretty well here in the past and we look to continue that, no question."

Counting tonight, the Senators still have five games remaining against the Sabres this season and all of them figure to carry heavy weight in the race toward the post-season.

"It's obviously a team that we look at and say every time we play them, it's huge points," said head coach Craig Hartsburg. "We're coming off a game (Sunday's overtime loss at New Jersey) where we thought we played pretty well and now we've got to follow it up with an even better effort tonight."

Tonight's game marks the Senators' seventh stop on a road swing that has produced three points and a 1-4-1 record to date. They'd like to bank four more points before it's done, which would go a long way toward elevating Ottawa's playoff hopes.

"The best way to make up ground is to beat the teams you're trying to catch," said centre Jason Spezza. "So they're important (points)."

Elliott earns AHL all-star start

Binghamton Senators goaltender Brian Elliott has been named the Canadian team starter for the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic, set for Jan. 26 in Worcester, Mass. Elliott is having a standout season for the B-Sens, with a league-leading 18 wins, 2.31 goals-against average, .926 save percentage and two shutouts. The Senators' ninth-round selection in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft was recently named the AHL's goaltender of the month for December.

Around the boards

Several world junior alumni in the Senators dressing room watched with great interest Monday night as Team Canada dumped Sweden 5-1 at Scotiabank Place for its fifth straight gold medal in the tournament. "It was great to see," said Heatley. "Five in a row is something real special and it just shows how great the young talent is in our country." ... Defencemen Anton Volchenkov (upper body) and Filip Kuba (groin) are both out tonight … Alex Auld (9-10-5) makes his second straight start in goal ... Ottawa wraps up its road trip on Thursday in Boston against the Bruins (7 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200) before returning home to face the New York Rangers on Saturday night (7 p.m., CBC, Team 1200).


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
2 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
3 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
4 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
5 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
6 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
7 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
8 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 52 11 44 2 55
B. Ryan 51 18 26 -2 44
M. Hoffman 48 23 18 5 41
M. Stone 50 13 23 -14 36
M. Zibanejad 51 10 21 -4 31
K. Turris 46 13 17 -11 30
J. Pageau 52 12 7 2 19
C. Ceci 45 5 10 -3 15
Z. Smith 51 9 4 5 13
C. Lazar 47 3 9 -3 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 20 17 4 .912 2.95
A. Hammond 3 5 2 .900 3.10