Ottawa Senators (27-16-6) at Buffalo Sabres (20-20-10)
|Date & Time||Saturday February 4, 2017, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Buffalo Sabres -107 / Ottawa Senators -113 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Ottawa Senators look for their seventh win in their last 10 contests as they head to the road to face off with the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.
The Sens continue their push towards an Atlantic division playoff spot as they face off against one of their rivals in the Buffalo Sabres who haven’t had the greatest season but are always a tough out on home ice and have former Sens goaltender Robin Lehner getting the start tonight. Ottawa has found recent success on the road as they are 4-1 in their last five away from home and have followed up an offensive outburst with another strong effort as they have won their last six games when they score five or more in their previous outing and they can add to that trend with a win against the Sabres in this spot. Ottawa has goaltender Mike Condon to thank for their recent surge as he has been brilliant in place of Craig Anderson and while others have done some heavy lifting as well there is a lot of credit due to the former Canadiens goalie who was forced into the starter’s role and has relished ever since.
The Sabres meanwhile sit right at the .500 mark and have some work to do if they’re going to challenge for a playoff spot but there aren’t a ton of trends working in their favour as they have been woeful against the Eastern Conference over the last few seasons. Buffalo does have a nice group to look forward to as the likes of Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, and Rasmus Ristolainen are building blocks for the future but in the now they are in tough against some of the league’s top teams in the Eastern Conference. Buffalo is a paltry 20-45 in their last 65 against the Atlantic division and they need to find a way to rectify that if they’re going to get back in the mix in the upper echelon of teams in the NHL.
The Senators are 4-1 in their last five games playing on one days rest and 2-5 in their last seven after allowing two or less in their previous game while the Sabres are 5-2 in their last seven when their opponent allows two or fewer in their previous game and 22-61 in their last 83 against a team with a winning record. This game I think is a toss up as Buffalo is a good team at home for the most part while Ottawa is due for a let down, and despite being the better team I think Ottawa’s misstep comes tonight.