What's Buzzing:
3-6-1
3 -
Team 1 2 3
BUF 1 1 1
OTT 3 1 0
4
6-3-1

Sabres-Senators Preview

AP - Sports

Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean doesn't seem to be overly concerned about his team's faltering offense.

Perhaps returning home has given him some extra confidence.

The Senators go for their first season-opening five-game home point streak since the 2000-01 season when they renew their Northeast Division rivalry with the struggling Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

With top-line center Jason Spezza out the last four games - and sidelined indefinitely - with a herniated disk, the Senators (5-3-1) are going to need Kyle Turris, Erik Karlsson, Milan Michalek, captain Daniel Alfredsson and others to step up. That hasn't happened in the last two games, with the club notching one total goal in back-to-back road losses to Carolina and Montreal.

"You are going to go through times like this," MacLean said Monday, a day after a 2-1 loss to the Canadiens. "Are we worried about it? We're scared to death each day about playing the next game. But at the same time I think offensively we've created opportunities. But I think we're a little bit tight in that department. ... We just need to relax and play our game and the goals will come."

The Senators are hoping to get a spark from center Stephane Da Costa, who was called up Sunday after registering 24 points in 31 games for AHL Binghamton. MacLean said he expects him to make his season debut as Ottawa begins a four-game homestand that ends next Tuesday against Buffalo (3-5-1).

The Senators have outscored their opponents 13-4 while posting a 3-0-1 home record. Ottawa hasn't opened with points in its first five on home ice since going 4-0-0 with two ties in 2000-01.

Buffalo has won six of seven at Ottawa but arrives with one victory in its last seven games. The Sabres are trying to regroup after giving up the final three goals in a 4-3 home loss to Florida on Sunday.

"If you look at some of the point-blank opportunities, I would shake my head last night and I didn't sleep well," coach Lindy Ruff said after Monday's practice. "... I'm a little above disbelief."

The Sabres' power play needs plenty of work - the club is 3 for 26 since going 3 for 6 opening night - and former Vezina Trophy winner Ryan Miller has given up four goals in each of the last four games.

One positive has been the play of left wing Thomas Vanek, who was named the NHL's first star Monday. He's scored in all eight games he's played in and is among the league's best with eight goals and 11 assists after he and center Cody Hodgson both scored and set up two goals Sunday.

"(My quick start) adds up to a losing record, so I have to do more too," Vanek said.

Vanek had no goals and two assists in five games against Ottawa last season.

The Sabres will face goaltender Craig Anderson, who will make a sixth consecutive start. Anderson, 5-2-1 with a 1.12 goals-against average, posted a 1.62 GAA while winning his last three starts versus Buffalo in 2011-12.

Ottawa is trying to extend its point streak in this matchup to five.

View Comments (13)
  • Late Bonino goal helps Pens win Stanley Cup opener

    Late Bonino goal helps Pens win Stanley Cup opener

    (Reuters) - Nick Bonino scored late in the third period to help the Pittsburgh Penguins recover from a mid-game meltdown and claim a 3-2 home victory in their Stanley Cup Finals opener against the San Jose Sharks on Monday. Locked at 2-2, the game … More »

    Reuters - 52 minutes ago
  • Sharks start slow, hope to bounce back

    Sharks start slow, hope to bounce back

    The opening act of San Jose's first Stanley Cup appearance was a dud. Brent Burns and the Sharks think the sequel will be much better. San Jose quickly fell behind during a strong first period for Pittsburgh, but the Sharks rallied in the second … More »

    AP - Sports - 58 minutes ago
  • Penguins bypass feeling-out process, take Game 1 right at Sharks

    Penguins bypass feeling-out process, take Game 1 right at Sharks

    PITTSBURGH – The opening period of Game 1 of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final was absent of any sort of typical feeling out process between teams in the first game of a series. … More »

    Puck Daddy - 1 hour 19 minutes ago
  • Pens beat Sharks on late goal in Game 1

    Pens beat Sharks on late goal in Game 1

    Nick Bonino looks the part. Bonino darted to the net and knocked in Kris Letang's centering pass with 2:33 remaining, lifting the Penguins to a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 on Monday night. Pittsburgh recovered after blowing an … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 24 minutes ago
  • Bonino scores go-ahead goal, Penguins strike first in Game 1 victory over Sharks

    Bonino scores go-ahead goal, Penguins strike first in Game 1 victory over Sharks

    The Pittsburgh Penguins wanted to hit first and found a way to do just that on Monday night. Nick Bonino scored the go-ahead goal in the waning minutes of regulation to help the Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup … More »

    The Canadian Press - 1 hour 28 minutes ago