(SportsNetwork.com) – The Ottawa Senators will try to post consecutive wins
for the first time under Dave Cameron when they visit the still surging
Buffalo Sabres in Monday’s Atlantic Division clash at First Niagara Center.
The Senators lost their first game with Cameron behind the bench, dropping a
5-3 decision to the visiting Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. Ottawa was able to
get its new head coach his first NHL victory on Saturday, however, as the Sens
kicked off a three-game road trip with a shootout win in Boston.
Cameron took over the reins for the fired Paul MacLean last week after Ottawa
began the season with a mediocre 11-11-5 record. Saturday’s 3-2 win was the
club’s second victory in three games after going through an 0-4-1 drought from
Nov. 28-Dec. 6.
Bobby Ryan scored the shootout winner Saturday, while Mika Zibanejad and David
Legwand provided the regulation scores for the Senators. Legwand knotted the
score at 2-2 with a power-play tally at the 4:17 mark of the third period.
Robin Lehner made 29 saves through regulation and overtime for the Sens and
stopped two of three attempts in the shootout.
In the third round of the shootout with the teams tied at one goal each,
Lehner made a sprawling save to deny Patrice Bergeron’s bid, and Ryan beat
Rask by going to his forehand for the game-winner.
“You know, you’re in the business of winning,” Cameron said. “It’s a case
where you’re preaching a certain style of play and [until you] get that win,
there’s probably always a bit of doubt or maybe a little bit of gray area
whether it works or doesn’t work. So it was great to get the win for sure.”
Ottawa halted a four-game road skid and improved to 6-8-2 as the guest this
season. The Sens will cap their current swing Wednesday in New Jersey.
Lehner will get the call in net again tonight. He is 0-1-1 with a 2.45 GAA in
his career against Buffalo.
The Sabres continued their recent hot play with an overtime win Saturday
against the Florida Panthers and they hope to cap a four-game homestand with a
perfect record tonight.
Buffalo, which began the season with a 3-13-2 record, has been firing on all
cylinders lately, going 9-3-0 over its past 12 games. The Sabres secured their
third three-game winning streak of that stretch with Saturday’s 4-3 victory.
Nikita Zadorov played the OT hero against the Panthers, scoring his first goal
of the season just 29 seconds into the extra session to improve Buffalo’s home
record to 8-7-2. Zadorov took a feed from Tyler Ennis before wristing the puck
past Al Montoya to end the game.
Brian Gionta’s third-period goal tied the game for the Sabres and ended a run
of three straight Panthers goals. Buffalo grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first
period before allowing Florida to rally and eventually take a one-goal
Buffalo also got goals from Cody Hodgson and Marcus Foligno, while Jhonas
Enroth made 25 saves in the win. Hodgson, who led the Sabres with 44 points
last season, was back in the lineup after being made a healthy scratch for
Thursday’s game against Calgary.
“It’s nice to get on the board offensively, but more important to be part of
the team and be on the ice,” Hodgson said.
The Sabres won Saturday despite finishing the game with just four defenseman
after blueliners Josh Gorges and Andrej Meszaros left with injuries in the
second period. Both players are expected to miss tonight’s game.
Ted Nolan could roll with Enroth in net tonight. He is 6-1-0 over his last
seven starts and owns a 3-2-1 record and 2.60 GAA in six career games against
Ottawa. However, backup Michal Neuvirth could get the call in either tonight’s
test or tomorrow’s tilt in Winnipeg. Neuvirth is 4-1-1 with a 1.85 GAA against
Tonight’s game marks the first of four meetings between the Sabres and Sens
this season. Ottawa has won two straight, three of four and nine of the past
12 encounters overall, but Buffalo has claimed two of three in Western New