Series (Game 2 of 6)

Buffalo leads 5-1

Game 1: Friday, October 8th
Game 2: Friday, October 22nd
Game 3: Saturday, December 4th
Game 4: Tuesday, January 25th
Game 5: Friday, February 25th
Game 6: Sunday, March 13th

Senators 4

(2-4-1, 5 pts)

Sabres 2

(2-5-1, 5 pts)

7:30 PM ET, October 22, 2010

First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York

1 2 3 T
OTT 1 2 14
BUF 1 1 02

D. Alfredsson (Senators - RW): Goals: 3, Assists: 0

T. Connolly (Sabres - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

E. Karlsson (Senators - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Senators-Sabres Preview


The Buffalo Sabres haven't lost their first five home games in 17 years. They'll need to snap a four-game skid to the Ottawa Senators at HSBC Arena to avoid it.

Buffalo looks to build off its first win in nearly two weeks Friday night when it takes on the struggling Senators, who are off to their worst road start since their inaugural season.

Last season, the Sabres (2-4-1) opened 5-1-1 at home en route to their first Northeast Division title in three years. Buffalo, though, has been outscored 13-7 while going 0-3-1 on home ice this season.

The last time the Sabres lost their first five home games was 1993-94, when they dropped seven straight.

Buffalo returns home after snapping a five-game overall skid Wednesday with a 4-1 victory at Atlanta. The Sabres' previous win was a 2-1 victory in the season opener in Ottawa on Oct. 8.

After losing its previous four by one goal, Buffalo outshot the Thrashers 42-18, including 11-2 in the opening 20 minutes.

"I think from start to finish, we were on top of the puck," said coach Lindy Ruff, whose club has outshot its opponents by an average of 9.5 in the first period of the last two games. "It was nice to see some opportunities go in."

While forward Thomas Vanek, who led the club with 28 goals last season, was glad to finally score his first of the season, the Sabres continued to struggle on the power play, going 1 for 7. They're 3 of 31 this season.

The Senators (1-4-1) are also having difficulties with the man advantage, succeeding 8.3 percent of the time.

"I don't think anybody is happy," newcomer Sergei Gonchar said following Monday's 5-2 loss at Pittsburgh. "We're all frustrated. But it's one of those things that you have to battle through. You have to stay positive."

Ottawa has been outscored 17-8 while opening 0-3-1 on the road. The Senators hadn't lost their first four on the road since dropping a league-record 38 in a row to begin 1992-93.

Ottawa, though, has won four straight and eight of nine in Buffalo.

"If we're playing how we can, I really like this team," said captain Daniel Alfredsson, who has 10 goals and nine assists during a 10-game point streak in Buffalo and is three points shy of 1,000 after scoring his first goal of the season Monday. "Right now, we're just not getting the most out of everybody."

That includes Brian Elliott, who is 0-2-0 with a 6.36 goals-against average in two starts since Pascal Leclaire suffered a groin injury versus Carolina last week.

With Leclaire improving but still not ready to return, Robin Lehner could make his first NHL start on Friday. The 19-year-old Swede has turned away all 10 shots he's faced in relief of Elliott the last two games.

Buffalo's Ryan Miller, who has a 1.33 GAA in his last three starts, is 0-3-1 with a 2.74 GAA in the Senators' last four visits to Buffalo.

Sabres center Derek Roy, who has team highs with five goals and seven points, scored and added two assists in Buffalo's last home win against Ottawa -- 4-2 on Jan. 6, 2009.

Roy also scored both Buffalo goals against the Senators earlier this month.