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Preview: Sabres at Senators

Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson to make second straight start; forward Evander Kane game-time decision for Buffalo

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

SABRES (23-23-10) at SENATORS (29-18-6)

7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, MSG-B, NHL.TV


Sabres team scope

Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane will be a game-time decision because of an illness, and defenseman Zach Bogosian will return to the lineup after missing the past six games with a rib injury. Goaltender Robin Lehner will start and try to continue his strong play against his former teammates. Lehner is 3-0-2 with a .961 save percentage and a 1.18 goals-against average in seven career games against Ottawa. He made 37 saves in 4-0 victory against Ottawa on Feb. 4. The Sabres, 3-0-1 against the Senators this season, have been alternating wins and losses for the past six games and are five points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference. "We're in a situation now where every game is important for us to get back into the playoff picture, get closer to the teams we're trying to catch in the eighth spot," coach Dan Bylsma said. "This is an Ottawa team we've been able to have some success against this year and last game against them was certainly one of our better 60-minute games. That's the challenge for us; we've gone off the rails when we haven't played well."


Senators team scope

Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson will start his second straight game since his return following a leave of absence to be with his wife, Nicholle, who was undergoing treatment for cancer. Anderson made 33 saves in a 3-0 win against the New York Islanders on Saturday in his first start since rejoining the Senators on Jan. 30. Ottawa, 7-3-2 in its past 12 games, are in second place in the Atlantic Division, tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs with 60 points, but with a game in hand. The Senators penalty killing has been solid of late; 8-for-8 in the past two games and ranked third in the NHL at home this season (86.2 percent). The Sabres have the No. 1 power play in the League at 23.4 percent. "We have not played at our best against that team," coach Guy Boucher said. "[Preseason] games included, we've won one out of six games against them. Certainly we haven't been at our best for whatever reason. I think every game has been a different story."


Sabres projected lineup

Justin Bailey -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Kyle Okposo

Evander Kane -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Marcus Foligno -- Evan Rodrigues -- Brian Gionta

Matt Moulson -- Derek Grant -- Tyler Ennis

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Josh Gorges -- Dmitry Kulikov

Justin Falk -- Zach Bogosian

Robin Lehner

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Taylor Fedun, Nicolas Deslauriers

Injured: Johan Larsson (wrist), William Carrier (knee), Zemgus Girgensons (mid body), Cody Franson (foot)


Senators projected lineup

Ryan Dzingel -- Derick Brassard -- Mark Stone

Zack Smith -- Kyle Turris -- Mike Hoffman

Bobby Ryan -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Tom Pyatt

Tommy Wingels -- Chris Kelly -- Chris Neil

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson 

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci

Mark Borowiecki -- Chris Wideman

Craig Anderson

Mike Condon

Scratched: Curtis Lazar, Fredrik Claesson

Injured: Clarke MacArthur (concussion)


Status report

After going with seven defensemen and 11 forwards the past two games, Boucher will dress 12 forwards. Neil will go into the lineup and Claesson will come out, but could still play because Boucher said one of his defensemen will be a game-time decision. … With Bogosian returning, it's expected Fedun will be scratched.


Who's hot

Eichel has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his past six games. … Okposo has six points (three goals, three assists) in a six-game point streak. … Stone has six points (four goals, two assists) in his past six games. … Karlsson has six points (one goal, five assists in his past six games.

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