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Muckler and Murray see similarities between Sens and Sabres

Wednesday, 07.02.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
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Muckler and Murray see similarities between Sens and Sabres
Senators head coach Bryan Murray says points will be hard to come by for the remainder of the season.

by Todd Anderson

Ottawa Senators general manager John Muckler and his head coach, Bryan Murray, see a lot of similarities between their club and the Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo Sabres, whom the Senators visit tonight.

While the Sabres have been the dominant team in the Northeast Division standings this season -- with 76 points they lead second-place Montreal by 12 and third-place Ottawa by 13 -- the Senators have had their way with Buffalo. Ottawa has won four of the five meetings against the team that bounced them from the second round of last year's playoffs.

"They're a very good hockey club," Muckler said today from Buffalo after his team participated in an optional morning skate. "I think the main thing is we match up very well with their personnel. Both teams have goaltenders that are playing well. Both have mobile defence and get a lot of offensive production from our D. We both have stars up front. We're both offensive teams that play defence very well. So I think it's a good match."

The Sabres defeated the Atlanta Thrashers 4-3 in a shootout last night and Murray expects them to be hungry for another win tonight. He hopes, however, that his club can extend its team-record four-game winning streak over Buffalo and leap frog over Montreal in the standings.

"I expect (Buffalo) will play close to their top game," Murray said. "We're comparable teams. The games have been real hard fought so far. We match fairly well.

"We need the points. You can see everyone bunching up for playoff spots now. Last night there were five, three-point games. It's going to continue because people have tightened up and are playing better. It's going to be a real challenge now."

Murray wants to ensure his players are prepared for the challenge that lies ahead. As was the case this morning, expect the coach to give his players more opportunity to choose when they practise for the remainder of the season.

"You like them to have an optional (practice). I just want them to be rested and ready to go and play well in the games."

Patrick Eaves continues to suffer with a sore ankle. He'll be a game-time decision tonight.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06