Senators look to keep rolling vs. slumping Sabres

Field Level Media

Mired in their roughest stretch of the young season, the Buffalo Sabres are trying to remain positive. The Ottawa Senators, meanwhile, are playing some of their best hockey to date.

The Sabres look to keep their winless stretch from reaching seven straight games Saturday night, when they aim to keep the visiting Senators from a season-high third consecutive victory.

Following a promising 8-1-1 start, Buffalo has hit a bump in the road while winning once in its last eight contests (1-5-2). The Sabres are 0-4-2 since winning 2-0 at Detroit on Oct. 25, but did rally from a two-goal deficit to earn a point with Thursday's 5-4 home overtime loss to Carolina.

Johan Larsson tied the game with 40.1 seconds left in regulation and Jeff Skinner had a goal with an assist as Buffalo came back from 3-1 down to salvage a point. And, a little confidence as it tries to get back on track.

"We just keep working," Skinner, who snapped a four-game point drought, told the Sabres' official website.

"We're here to get results. We didn't win (Thursday). We did a good job of fighting back. In every game, there's positives and there's negatives.

"We just keep working on the good things on our game and tighten up some of the mistakes we make."

Buffalo certainly needs to improve a power play that's 0-for-12 through five games this month. Sabres opponents, meanwhile, are 5-for-10 with the man advantage over the last three contests.

In goal, Buffalo's Carter Hutton is 0-3-2 with a 3.81 goals-against average after positing a 1.65 while winning his first six starts. Backup Linus Ullmark has allowed nine goals while losing his last two starts.

The Sabres, 0-2-2 at home since winning their first five there, split the four matchups with Ottawa in 2018-19. They outscored the Senators 14-4 while winning both home meetings last season.

Ottawa, though, has won four of five after rallying, then holding on, for a 2-1 home victory over Philadelphia on Friday. Down 1-0, Tyler Ennis and Filip Chlapik scored second-period goals for the Senators, who also killed off a double-minor penalty in the final five minutes to prevail.

"I think everybody knows right now what we need to do to win hockey games," said Senators goaltender Anders Nilsson, who made 26 saves Friday.

"We have to work harder than our opponents. I think it's just a mindset that everybody knows that to do for us to win."

The former Sabre Ennis, who scored just Ottawa's fifth power-play goal of the season and first in six games, has that goal and three assists in his last five contests. Ennis, who has three power-play goals already, has scored twice in four contests against Buffalo.

After Nilsson shined versus Philadelphia, Craig Anderson could be in the Ottawa net for this contest. Anderson stopped 21 shots in Wednesday's 4-2 win at New Jersey for just his third victory in nine starts. The veteran Anderson has a 2.16 goals-against average while winning three of his last four starts versus Buffalo.

Skinner, tied for the Sabres team lead with eight goals, had three with an assist versus Ottawa last season. Teammate Jack Eichel, who's recorded just two of his club-leading 19 points over the last five games, posted a goal with seven assists against the Senators in 2018-19.

--Field Level Media

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