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Buffalo Sabres – Ottawa Senators Preview

Timothy T. Ludwig – US PRESSWIRE

The Buffalo Sabres’ issues right now seem eerily familiar.

Last season the Sabres had an awful January plagued by inconsistent play and injuries, and despite a 18-8-6 record from February on, they ended up on the outside looking in for the playoffs.

Despite the season starting in January this year, the winter months have not been kind to the Sabres in the training room or the standings once again. After blowing a 3-1 lead midway through the second period, the Sabres have now lost six of their last seven games, earning only three points in that stretch. The team has also had to endure its fair share of injuries, with Christian Ehrhoff the latest victim.

So the Sabres prepare to play at the Ottawa Senators with Tyler Myers, Jordan Leopold, Alexander Sulzer, Mike Weber, TJ Brennan and Adam Pardy on defense as Robyn Regehr, Andrej Sekera and Ehrhoff sit the game out. Pardy is making his Buffalo debut after starting the NHL season in Rochester.

The Sabres will need to right the ship quickly if they hope to be in the conversation for the playoffs instead of the number one pick.

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Quick Hits for the Ottawa game:

Thomas Vanek was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week after posting 10 points for the Sabres last week, including his five point effort against the Boston Bruins last Thursday.

Jhonas Enroth will get his second start of the season tonight against the Senators. Enroth lost his only other start earlier this season against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Cody Hodgson has made the most of his time on the top line with Vanek and Jason Pominville. In nine games, Hodgson has already out striped his point total with the Sabres last season when he contributed eight points in 20 games. Hodgson has five goals and four assists in the Sabres’ first nine games.

Coach Lindy Ruff said Patrick Kaleta was improving and could return to the lineup sooner rather than later. Ville Leino has yet to skate since the first week of the season and for the first time Ruff has indicated he’s worried he may miss the entire season, a major hurdle for the Sabres if they had hoped to buyout Leino this summer.

This is the first game for the Sabres against the Senators this season. They were 3-1-2 against the Sens last year.

Follow me on Twitter for NHL and Sabres news all season long: @SwordPlay18