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Senators-Sabres Preview @NHLdotcom

The Ottawa Senators have the biggest division lead in the Eastern Conference, but at least one of them knows how quickly things can change.

Martin Gerber and the Senators look to continue to pad their Northwest Division lead and slow down the surging Sabres when these division rivals meet in Buffalo on Wednesday.

Ottawa (23-8-4) has the best record in the East, and has a 10-point lead over Boston and Montreal in the Northwest.

The Sabres (19-14-1) are 11 points out of first place despite winning 13 of their last 17 games, including a season-high six in a row going into this matchup.

The Senators defeated the New York Rangers 3-1 on Sunday after back-to-back one-goal losses. Ottawa had won six straight games before losing those two.

"It definitely was good for us to bounce back," said Gerber, who made 34 saves.

"You look around the league and you see teams in first in their division and then in a few days they're out of the playoffs. It goes so quick. You have to try to come back and jump on the wagon."

Gerber, who sat out Ottawa's 4-3 overtime loss to Chicago on Saturday, is 4-1-0 with a 1.70 goals-against average in six games since briefly being demoted to the backup role earlier this month. He has been outstanding on the road all season, going 8-2-0 with a 1.64 GAA.

In his only start against the Sabres this season on Nov. 15, Gerber made 35 saves in a 3-2 victory. He is 4-4-1 with a 3.44 GAA lifetime against Buffalo.

These teams have split two meetings this season, with each winning at home, after the Senators ousted the Sabres in five games in last season's conference finals.

Ottawa center Jason Spezza has only one assist in the two matchups this season, but enters this one on a seven-game point streak during which he's totaled seven goals and eight assists.

Teammate Dany Heatley had eight goals and four assists in his last seven games before being held pointless Sunday for just the second time in 17 games. Heatley has nine goals and 12 assists in his last 10 regular-season games versus the Sabres, including a goal and two assists this season.

Daniel Alfredsson, tied with Heatley for the team lead with 45 points, has three goals against Buffalo this season.

The Sabres are in the midst of their longest winning streak since opening last season with 10 straight victories, which tied the NHL record for most wins to start a season.

Buffalo defeated Philadelphia 6-5 in a shootout on Saturday for its third consecutive one-goal win.

Thomas Vanek scored with 7.2 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime, and Ales Kotalik had the only shootout goal.

"I thought we battled for every inch we got," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "There was a lot of emotion."

Ryan Miller made 31 saves against the Flyers and has been in goal for each game of Buffalo's winning streak, posting a 2.48 GAA. He is 12-3-0 since Nov. 15.

Miller, though, is 3-9-0 with a 3.17 GAA in his last 12 games against the Senators, including last season's playoff series.

Center Derek Roy, who leads the Sabres with 13 goals, has two goals and an assist against the Senators this season.

Buffalo has won three straight and seven of nine at home.

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