Game Day 5

1. The set up:

The stage is set for the final divisional battle between the Senators and Sabres with the series favouring the Sabres 2-1 thus far. The Senators are coming in fresh off of back-to-back convincing wins and looking to make it three in a row to draw the season series even. Though playoffs are out of sight at this point in the season the Sens have proven to keep fighting right to the end and will look to play spoiler tonight.

The Sabres have gone back and forth of late splitting their last ten games with five wins and five losses. Coming off a win over the Flames after two tough losses the Sabres will look to keep their season alive today as they currently sit eight points back of Washington for the final Wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference and only ten games left to play. The Sabres are getting a welcomed addition back to the line-up tonight as Don Granato confirmed that Jack Quinn is expected to be back tonight for the first time since Jan. 27.

2. Roster report:

The Senators held an optional skate this morning in Buffalo so we didn't get a full glimpse at how they are expected to line up tonight. That said interim head coach Jacques Martin mentioned that he doesn't anticipate any changes from how the team lined up against Edmonton, with Joonas Korpisalo getting the tap to start once again. Below is how the Senators lined up against Edmonton Sunday evening:

Projected Lines Article

3. Who to watch:

When the power play is going this Sens team can look like one of the most dangerous teams in the NHL and going it was against the Edmonton Oilers thanks in large part to Drake Batherson. Finishing the game with a power play goal and two primary assists on the power play including the game-winner, Batherson was feeling it Sunday night.

EDM@OTT: Chychrun scores goal against Edmonton Oilers

Batherson is in the midst of a career best season with a new marker set for most goals at 25 and counting (on pace to flirt with his first 30-goal season), and on pace to set a new career high with 64 points. While his offensive game has been impressive this season, his concerted effort on the defensive side has been noteworthy. A year after taking home the green jacket finishing -35 on the season, Batherson has improved to a plus-minus of -8 this season.

"He's improved defensively as far as reading situations. With his ability to skate I think he could be a player like Marián Hossa. Hossa was great at coming back hard and stealing pucks and restarting an attack." - Jacques Martin on Drake Batherson's defensive growth this season

EDM@OTT: Batherson scores goal against Calvin Pickard

Look for Batherson to put his stamp on this game as he looks to add to his impressive season.

4. Sens vs Sabres rivalry:

This divisional battle has had some historical significance with these two sides meeting in the playoffs four times between 1997 and 2007 and of course the Senators downing the Sabres in the Eastern Conference Finals to make their first Stanley Cup appearance. For a number of years the rivalry cooled off but as both teams have been in the hunt to get back in the playoffs with the longest and third longest activep layoff draughts it seems to have picked back up.

Since 2022 the series between these two is split right down the middle with each side taking five games. With the Sabres owning the 2-1 season lead in the match up they have the opportunity to take this season series and the edge in the battle over the last three seasons. A Sens win draws the season series even for the second straight season and splits both home series down the middle as well.

5. Where to watch:

Tonight's game can be found live on Sportsnet in English and RDS in French. Additionally, TSN1200 and Unique FM 94,5 have you covered on the radio with the English and French calls.