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Senators-Sabres Preview @NHL
Senators-Sabres Preview

GAME: Ottawa Senators (8-2-0) at Buffalo Sabres (7-4-0).

TIME: Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST.

Dominik Hasek earned the nickname 'The Dominator' playing for Buffalo from 1992-2001 - and that's exactly what he's been against the Sabres since leaving them.

After shutting out the Sabres earlier in the season, Hasek looks for another strong performance against his former team when the Ottawa Senators visit Buffalo for a Northeast Division matchup.

Hasek, making his home debut for the Senators, turned aside 35 shots for his 64th career shutout in a 5-0 win over the Sabres on Oct. 8. He improved to 4-1-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average in six appearances against Buffalo.

The 40-year-old Hasek had a team-record 55 shutouts with Buffalo, and posted his second in an Ottawa uniform on Saturday in an 8-0 win at Toronto. He moved within one shutout of Patrick Roy for 13th on the NHL's all-time list (66).

Hasek, who won the last of his six Vezina Trophies in his final season with Buffalo, followed his victory over the Maple Leafs with a 5-3 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday. It was just his second defeat in eight starts this season.

Zdeno Chara scored two goals to even the score at 2-2 early in the second period, but the Flyers scored three unanswered goals to send Ottawa to its first loss in five home games.

"Last night everything we touched went in the net, and tonight it was tougher to put them in, but you can't make any excuses, we took too many penalties, we weren't skating as much and they took the play to us early on," said center Jason Spezza, who assisted on both of Chara's goals.

Right winger Dany Heatley, leading the team with eight goals, assisted on Chara's first goal to extend his points streak to 10 games. He tied a team record with four goals against the Leafs.

Ottawa's offense should get a boost from the return of star winger Martin Havlat, who has completed a five-game suspension for kicking Boston defenseman Hall Gill.

Havlat will be facing a Buffalo team coming off a 6-4 comeback victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Power-play goals by Daniel Briere, Tim Connolly and Ales Kotalik in the third period rallied the Sabres to victory following their first two-game skid of the season. Buffalo totaled just four goals in losses to Washington and New Jersey.

Martin Biron made his season debut and stopped 33 shots after Ryan Miller had played every minute of the Sabres' first 10 games.

"Off the bat, I was maybe a little antsy, a little jittery," Biron said. "What settled me down was that 5-on-3 power play they had. I was just getting in a groove stopping those shots, and after that, I felt fine. What also helped is the guys battled hard, and we scored some ugly goals."

STANDINGS: Senators - 16 points, 2nd place, 3 PB, Northeast Division. Sabres - 14 points, 3rd place (tied), 5 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Heatley, 8 goals; Spezza, 13 assists; Heatley and Spezza, 18 points; Chris Neil, 33 PIM. Sabres - Briere, 9 goals and 13 points; Teppo Numminen and Thomas Vanek, 7 assists; Jochen Hecht and Jay McKee, 12 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Senators - Power play: 20.2 percent (14 for 69), 8th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.7 percent (60 for 70), 7th. Sabres - Power play: 19.4 percent (15 for 77), 12th. Penalty killing: 82.3 percent (42 for 51), 14th.

GOALTENDERS: Senators - Hasek (6-2-0, 2 SO, 2.09 GAA); Ray Emery (2-0-0, 2.44). Sabres - Miller (6-4-0, 2.77); Biron (1-0-0, 4.00).

SEASON SERIES: Senators, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 8; Senators, 5-0. At Ottawa, Heatley had two power-play goals, and Spezza and Havlat also scored for the Senators.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 4-1-0 on the road; Sabres - 4-1-0 at home.

Associated Press
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