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Senators shuffle over to Buffalo

by Adam Schwartz /
There are 6 games in the NHL tonight, including a Northeast Division showdown on the NHL Network at 7 p.m. ET between the surging Buffalo Sabres and the struggling Ottawa Senators.

In addition to the Sabres-Senators game, the New York Rangers renew their rivalry with the New York Islanders, the Anaheim Ducks visit the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Minnesota Wild host the Chicago Blackhawks, the Boston Bruins begin a 3-game Western Canada road trip in Edmonton and the Detroit Red Wings go west to face the Los Angeles Kings.

Here's what to watch:

* The Senators, who were tied with the Montreal Canadiens for the most home wins in the Northeast Division with 22 last season, have just 1 win in 6 home games this season. Ottawa, which has lost its last 4 games, has yielded at least 3 goals in each of its last 6 games.

* Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller, who leads the League with a 1.60 goals-against average, has given up more than 2 goals just once in 6 games this season. Even though Miller gave up just 1 goal while facing 29 shots Saturday night, the Sabres lost in a shootout to the Colorado Avalanche.

* Rangers right wing Fredrik Sjostrom, who never has taken a shootout attempt in his NHL career prior to this season, has 2 game-winning shootout goals this season. Sjostrom, who has just 1 goal in regulation in 9 games this season, has a plus-3 rating while averaging just 12:13 of ice time per game.

* Islanders right wing Bill Guerin, who had 10 of the Islanders' 60 shots Saturday in their 4-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, leads the team with 31 shots on net. Guerin, who had a career-worst minus-15 rating last season, is a plus-1 this season.

* Anaheim center Brian Sutherby, who has been a minus player each of the past 4 seasons, has a plus-5 rating this season. Sutherby, who has had more than 17 points just once in his career, has 4 points in 7 games this season, but averages just 7:31 of ice time per game.

* The Blue Jackets, who are the only NHL franchise never to have reached the postseason, are 2-1 at home but 1-4 on the road. Columbus, which is 1 of 8 teams that haven't come back to win after giving up the first goal this season, is third on the penalty kill in the Central Division, with an 85.4 percent success rate.

* Chicago defenseman Brian Campbell, who signed an 8-year contract with the team this summer, is 1 of just 3 defensemen in the League who has at least 5 points and a plus-6 rating. Campbell, who was tied for third among defensemen last season with 62 points, is seventh in the League and second in the Central Division with an average of 27:02 of ice time per game.

* Minnesota left wing Andrew Brunette, who is in his second stint with the Wild after playing his last 3 seasons with the Avalanche, has 2 goals on 6 shots -- and just 1 missed shot -- through 6 games this season. Brunette, who had 5 points in his first 3 games this season, has been pointless in his last 3 games.

* Bruins left wing Milan Lucic, who leads the team with 25 hits and 16 penalty minutes, is averaging 15:25 of ice time per game this season -- a big bump from last season, when he averaged 12:07 per game. Lucic, who had 8 goals in 77 games last season, has 4 goals in 8 games this season, including a hat trick Saturday night in the Bruins' 5-4 victory against the Atlanta Thrashers.

* Edmonton right wing Ales Hemsky, who has had at least 40 assists in his last 3 seasons, leads the team with 6 assists in 7 games and is on pace for 70 assists this season. Hemsky, 25, is in his sixth season with the Oilers.

* Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs last season, has 7 points in his current 5-game point-scoring streak. Zetterberg is 1 of 6 Red Wings averaging at least a point per game this season.

* Los Angeles defenseman Matt Greene, who the Kings acquired with center Jarret Stoll for defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky over the summer, leads the team with 13 blocked shots. Greene, a stay-at-home defenseman, has just 1 goal in 158 NHL games.
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