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Sens gunning for 10th straight win against Sabres

by Brian Compton
SENATORS (31-21-4) at SABRES (32-15-7)

Last 10: Ottawa 9-1-0; Buffalo 4-4-2.

Season Series: This is the fourth of six meetings between the Northeast Division rivals. The Sens have won all three games, most recently a 3-2 shootout victory at Buffalo on Dec. 26.

Big Story: Cory Clouston is emerging as a favorite to be nominated for the Jack Adams Award, as his Senators have won a franchise-record nine consecutive games heading into Wednesday's action. Ottawa is now just five points behind the Sabres for the division lead.

Team Scope:

Senators: Ottawa made it nine in a row on Saturday night when Mike Fisher scored 3:33 into overtime during a rare 3-on-3 situation to lift the Sens to a 3-2 victory against the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Place.

Ottawa had lost five in a row prior to the winning streak. The Senators' previous mark was an eight-game stretch from Oct. 13-Nov. 6, 2007, just a few months after losing to the Anaheim Ducks in the Stanley Cup Final.

"They're pretty different," said forward Chris Kelly, who was part of both winning streaks. "The streak we had before was after the Cup run and I think we came back with something to prove after a short summer. We were rolling on a pretty big high, whereas we lost five in a row before this little streak."

Sabres: Buffalo got off to a good start in Pittsburgh on Monday night but failed to contain Pens captain Sidney Crosby, who notched his third hat trick of the season as the Sabres dropped a 5-4 decision at Mellon Arena. Buffalo will be hoping to avoid a three-game skid on Wednesday.

"I don't know if he's getting better, but he's taking advantage of the opportunities we gave him," Sabres forward Tim Kennedy said of Crosby. "When you give a guy an open net and give a guy a 2-on-1 and then a power play, guys like that aren't going to miss those opportunities. That's on us. He is one of the best players in the game, but I think that we gave him a lot."

Who's Hot: Sens goalie Brian Elliott has won seven straight games and has stopped 191 of the last 199 shots he's faced, while Jason Spezza has a goal in each of his last six contests. … Sabres forward Thomas Vanek has scored in five of his last eight games.

Injury Report: Sens forward Nick Foligno is out 6-8 weeks after suffering a broken leg on Saturday, while goalie Pascal Leclaire (concussion) hopes to return this weekend. Jesse Winchester (knee) hopes to return to the lineup on Wednesday night. … Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta is day-to-day with a bruised foot.

Stat Pack: Ottawa has allowed only 10 goals during this phenomenal streak … Buffalo is 17-4-7 in one-goal games and 9-11-4 when allowing the first goal.

Puck Drop: "(The Sabres) are just a good hockey team. They deserve to be where they are in the standings. They've got very good offensive players. They've got a potential Rookie of the Year (Tyler Myers) on the back end. They've got a lot of good players. It's not just (goaltender Ryan) Miller. You can't have that kind of success with one player." -- Sens coach Cory Clouston

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