by Todd Anderson
Goaltender Ray Emery returns to the ice tonight as the Ottawa Senators starting goaltender against the Sabres in Buffalo. Emery, who last played against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 31, returns to action after recovering from a left-forearm injury suffered during a practice last week.
The sophomore is looking forward to getting back on the ice.
"It's never fun sitting out and doing all the exercises you have to do when you're hurting," Emery said. "I'd rather be in there playing. I feel good and healthy enough to play right now and I'm chomping at the bit to get back in."
With a 6-10-1 record, Senators centre Jason Spezza thinks his team can gain momentum with a victory tonight over the NHL-leading Sabres (15-1-1).
"This is a big game for us. Getting Razor back will hopefully give us a shot in the arm. Buffalo is the top team in the league right now and we have to be ready for them. This could be a big turning point for us. If we could get a win here, I'm sure it will give us confidence."
Senators head coach Bryan Murray agrees.
"We respect them a lot," he said of the Sabres. "They're obviously very confident, they're flying out there. They're a difficult team even when we're playing well.
"We know we have our hands full but maybe this is what we need: a test against a team that gets up and down the ice real quick and does all the right things. This might force us to just play. That's all I've said to the guys. It is a game. You've got to enjoy it somewhat even if it's tough at times."
Senators defenceman Wade Redden (groin injury) skated this morning but won't play tonight. The Senators lines during the morning skate included Dany Heatley-Spezza-Patrick Eaves, Peter Schaefer-Antoine Vermette-Daniel Alfredsson, Dean McAmmond-Mike Fisher-Chris Neil and Denis Hamel-Chris Kelly-Brian McGrattan.