At the Rink: Sabres at Senators

Tuesday, 01.26.2016 / 1:49 PM | Chris Stevenson  - Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Buffalo Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner will face his former team, the Ottawa Senators, for the first time Tuesday at Canadian Tire Centre (7:30 p.m. ET; MSG-B, BELL TV, RDS2, TSN5).

The Senators (23-20-6) traded Lehner and center David Legwand to the Sabres (19-26-4) on June 26, 2015, for the 21st pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, which the Senators used to select forward Colin White.

Lehner, 24, was selected by the Senators in the second pick (No. 46) in the 2009 NHL Draft. He played 86 games for the Senators between 2010 and 2015, and was 30-36-13 with a .914 save percentage and 2.88 goals-against average.

He had been considered the goalie of the future but when he sustained a season-ending concussion Feb. 16, it opened the door for the emergence of Andrew Hammond behind No. 1 goaltender Craig Anderson.

Lehner sprained his ankle in his Sabres debut against the Senators on Oct. 8 and missed 39 games.

This will be the fourth game of his return; he has lost his previous three starts. Lehner has a .936 save percentage and 2.36 goals against average since his return.

Chad Johnson played Monday in the Sabres' 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers, their third loss in a row.

"I think there will be some energy to the game," Senators forward Mike Hoffman said. "I'm pretty sure [Lehner] is looking forward to getting his first game back here. At the end of the day it's another team in the League we have to be ready for. We can't take shifts off. Teams are too good."

Inconsistency has been an issue for the Senators this season; they will try to win consecutive games Tuesday for the first time since Dec. 3-5.

They are coming off one of their best efforts of the season, a 3-0 win against the Rangers at Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday.

"I think we were just determined," Hoffman said. "Everyone was right in from the drop of the puck until the end of the third period, starting with the defense to the forwards, and our goalies have been outstanding this year. If we play that way every night there's no reason why we shouldn't come away with more points than not."

Said Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki: "A big win doesn't really mean much if you can't string some together. For us, we want to go into this [All-Star] break feeling good about ourselves and carry that confidence through into the next game."

Here are the projected lineups:


Evander Kane - Ryan O'Reilly - Jamie McGinn

Matt Moulson - Jack Eichel - Zemgus Girgensons

Marcus Foligno - Johan Larsson - Brian Gionta

Cal O'Reilly - Tim Schaller - David Legwand

Zach Bogosian - Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe - Cody Franson

Mike Weber - Mark Pysyk

Robin Lehner

Chad Johnson

Injured: Cody McCormick (blood clots), Tyler Ennis (upper body), Nicolas Deslauriers (lower body), Sam Reinhart (upper body), Josh Gorges (undisclosed)

Scratched: Carlo Colaiacovo, Philip Varone


Mike Hoffman - Mika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan

Matt Puempel - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Mark Stone

Curtis Lazar - Zack Smith - Alex Chiasson

Shane Prince - Max McCormick - Chris Neil

Mark Borowiecki - Erik Karlsson

Patrick Wiercioch - Cody Ceci

Jared Cowen - Chris Wideman

Craig Anderson

Andrew Hammond

Injured: Kyle Turris (lower body), Marc Methot (lower body), Chris Phillips (back), Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Milan Michalek (broken finger)

Scratched: None

Status report: Methot, who has missed the past four games, will be a game-time decision, Senators coach Dave Cameron said. … Turris will miss his fourth straight game.

Who's hot: Zibanejad has two goals and four assists in his past five games. … Ryan has four goals and two assists in his past five games.

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