Coming off a 10-shot performance against the New York Islanders on Sunday, the Buffalo Sabres know what they’ll have to do more of Tuesday night if they want a better chance at beating the Ottawa Senators.
Shoot the puck.
“We’ve definitely got to get more shots on net. We’re not going to win any games just getting 10 shots,” Tyler Ennis said after the team’s morning skate at First Niagara Center.
The Sabres host the Senators at 7 p.m. The Tops Game Night pregame show begins at 6:30 p.m. on MSG-B and Bell. The game can also be heard live on WGR 550.
Buffalo’s 10 shots tied a record for fewest shots in a game in franchise history. That record was set on Oct. 28 against Toronto.
When it comes to getting pucks on goal, any puck to the net may as well be a good idea at this point.
“I don’t know exactly what goes through a player’s mind at that particular time. I think maybe we have too many generous guys on the team that think they can pass it to somebody else in a better position,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said.
“Sometimes that doesn’t work. I think the simplest play is throw the puck at the net. You never know. A few of our goals hit some people and went in so if we do that more often, we’ll have a better chance.”
Jhonas Enroth will start in net, making his eighth start in the past 11 games. He’s 2-1-0 in his past three with a .942 save percentage and a 2.00 goals-against average in those starts.
The Sabres will stick with the same forward lines as they did against the Islanders but will make one change on defense. Andrej Meszaros will go in for Tyson Strachan.
Meszaros started his career in Ottawa, playing 246 games for the Senators from 2005-08.
Buffalo’s power play was on a pretty good run a few games ago, having scored five times over five games (5-for-15). But in the past four contents, the power play has only one goal in eight opportunities. Buffalo has also had a two-man advantage against the Islanders that they were unable to generate much offense on.
“When you get those power plays, especially when you’ve only had about eight shots all game, it’s important to shoot the puck and we didn’t do that enough,” Ennis said. “When our power play was going good a couple weeks ago, that’s all we were doing. We were just shooting everything so that’s what we’re going to look to tonight.”
ROOKIE ON A ROLL
Defenseman Nikita Zadorov recorded an assist on Sunday and now has at least a point in each of his past five games played (0+6). He’s the first Sabres defenseman to record a point in five-straight games played since Andrej Sekera accomplished that feat from Feb. 26 to March 6, 2011 (2+8).
Zadorov is the first rookie defenseman to pull that off since Tyler Myers had a point in five-straight games from March 16-24, 2010 (1+5). The last Sabres defenseman to record a point in six consecutive games played was Jason Woolley, from March 8-18, 2000 (3+3).
80 Chris Stewart – 28 Zemgus Girgensons – 63 Tyler Ennis
26 Matt Moulson – 17 Torrey Mitchell – 12 Brian Gionta
82 Marcus Foligno – 65 Brian Flynn – 21 Drew Stafford
44 Nicolas Deslauriers – 37 Matt Ellis – 36 Patrick Kaleta
4 Josh Gorges – 57 Tyler Myers
51 Nikita Zadorov – 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
6 Mike Weber – 41 Andrej Meszaros
1 Jhonas Enroth
34 Michal Neuvirth
Scratched: 19 Cody Hodgson, 24 Tyson Strachan, 61 Andre Benoit
Injured Reserve: 8 Cody McCormick (blood clots)