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The Morning Skate: Sabres back to the road in Ottawa

November 5, 2011

The Sabres honored the late Rick Martin the last time they met the Senators

The Buffalo Sabres hit their third set of back-to-back games a night after finding some mojo at First Niagara Center with a 2-1 win over Calgary.

Since the season opening games were both neutral site contests, Buffalo has their first chance to sweep a set of back-to-backs after winning the first half at home. Since the Sabres did not skate this morning it is hard to say what lines may change or who the starting goaltender will be.

Expect the lines to remain the same, as Corey Tropp had an efficient night in his NHL debut and Brad Boyes looked right at home on the wing with Paul Gaustad and Nathan Gerbe. Same goes for the defensive pairings as the entire unit was sound against Calgary, yielding only 17 shots through the first 40 minutes last night.

The decision in goal may be difficult for Lindy Ruff. Jhonas Enroth had a very good night against the Flames and made the saves he needed to throughout the game. He wasn’t tested often, but he turned away any of the scoring chances he faced. Ryan Miller deserves a chance to get back on top of his game and tonight would seem to be a scheduled start for him based recent history. Had Enroth pitched a shutout last night I would put him right back in. Despite the only goal being a wacky deflection, you probably go with Miller to continue to show confidence in the team’s superstar.

The Sens are also playing the second half of a back-to-back set, however they had the luxury of sleeping in their own beds last night. Ottawa hosted Montreal on Friday, a 2-1 loss.

While the standings mean very little at this point in the season, tonight’s winner will move ahead of their division rival for the time being. Both teams are part of a four-way tie for fifth in the Eastern Conference. Of note, Kevin Sylvester and Danny Gare will call the game while Brian Duff will serve as the in-game host. It will be interesting to see how the new team does in their first true game working together.

Highlighted Matchup

Michalek-Spezza-Greening vs. Myers-Sekera. Lindy Ruff may choose not to match the Senators big line, but expect either the Myers or Regehr pairing to see plenty of time against Spezza and Michalek. The two forwards have combined for 28 points (14+14) through 14 games. Don’t be surprised if the Gerbe-Gaustad-Boyes line sees time against Ottawa’s top scoring unit too.

Projected Goaltenders

BUF: Ryan Miller 9GP, 4-5-0, 2.48 GAA, .922 SV%

OTT: Craig Anderson 12GP, 6-4-0, 3.66 GAA, .883 SV%

Last Meeting

3/13/2011, HSBC Arena, Sabres 6 – Senators 4

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