The Ottawa Senators haven’t won three straight games in more than three months. If their recent results in Buffalo are any indication, that drought may end Friday night.
The Senators look for their sixth consecutive road victory against the Sabres, who are trying to make up ground in the Eastern Conference playoff race amid a disappointing homestand.
Despite going 1-3-0 to begin this string of six straight home games, the Sabres (28-25-6) remain in playoff contention in the East with 23 games left. They pulled within three points of eighth-place Carolina with a 4-1 victory Wednesday over Atlanta as new owner Terry Pegula took in his first game.
The win came just hours after the team waived captain Craig Rivet(notes). Coach Lindy Ruff said Thomas Vanek(notes), Jason Pominville(notes), Paul Gaustad(notes) and Jochen Hecht(notes) would now rotate as alternate captains.
“I think he’s feeling a lot better about his game,” Ruff told the team’s official website. “I thought (Wednesday) he was a difference-maker in the game.”
Miller is 3-1-0 with a 1.46 GAA against the Senators this season, but all three wins came on the road. He has been in net for all five of the Sabres’ consecutive home losses to Ottawa, posting a 2.80 GAA.
The Senators (20-31-9) beat Florida 5-1 on Wednesday, winning their second straight game for the first time since Dec. 23 and 26. Ottawa hasn’t won three in a row since a four-game run Nov. 2-9.
Anderson has stopped 70 of 71 shots - including his first shutout of the season Saturday against Toronto - in two wins since the Senators acquired him from Colorado last Friday for goalie Brian Elliott(notes).
“When I came in here the room was great, it was very positive,” Anderson said. “Guys didn’t get down on themselves or their teammates, from what I could see right when I came in. You would never have known that they were on a losing streak.”
“It feels good to get the back-to-back wins,” Butler said. “It’s exciting in the locker room and I think the guys had fun.”
The rebuilding Senators stayed busy Thursday as the Feb. 28 trade deadline approaches, dealing veteran Alex Kovalev(notes) to Pittsburgh for a seventh-round draft pick and claiming right wing Marek Svatos(notes) off waivers from Nashville.
Svatos had one goal and two assists in nine games with the Predators this season.
The Sabres, meanwhile, could use more consistent offensive production after totaling two goals in the first three games of this homestand.
Right wing Drew Stafford(notes) has cooled off since scoring nine goals - including two hat tricks - in five games from Feb. 5-15. He’s been held without a goal in his last four overall and his last nine against Ottawa.