Houser gets the start as Buffalo squares off in Ottawa
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM ET | Canadian Tire Centre | Ottawa, ON
TV: MSG, ESPN+
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Senators Blog: Silver Seven Sens
Know Your Opponent
Record: 11-18-2 | 24 PTS
Last Game: 6-4 win over Edmonton
Division Ranking: 7th in Atlantic Division
PP: 20.0% (15th)
PK: 78.0% (22nd)
What to Watch
1. Roster Updates
The big news of the day is that Tage Thompson was unable to make the cross-border trip for tonight’s game, so he’s out of the lineup this evening. This is due to Ontario’s 10-day isolation requirement following a positive COVID test; Thompson entered the NHL’s protocol on January 10, so he is still in that window of time.
Vinnie Hinostroza was injured in Monday’s game and did not travel.
Enter: Brett Murray & Mark Jankowski.
Michael Houser will make his season debut in goal this evening. This gives Aaron Dell, who just made three consecutive starts, a much-needed break for the first time since he rejoined the team following injuries to Ukko-Pekka Lukkonen and Malcolm Subban.
2. Haven’t Seen You in A While
Tonight’s game is the first meeting between the Sabres and Senators since the pre-COVID era. It’s also just Buffalo’s second time in Canada this season. Due to current Ontario restrictions, there will be no fans in attendance for tonight’s game.
The last time Buffalo and Ottawa squared off was February 18, 2020, which feels like a lifetime ago. That game was a 7-4 loss for the Sabres, wherein Brandon Montour had a pair of goals, while Kyle Okposo and Victor Olofsson also notched tallies. Carter Hutton was the netminder at the time, so it’s safe to say quite a bit has changed since then.
3. Ottawa’s Home Again
Due to a combination of factors and multiple postponements, tonight’s game is Ottawa’s first at home since December 11. After six straight on the road, the Senators will get a dose of home ice advantage – but remember, no fans in the crowd – before heading back out on three-game road trip.
The Sabres and Senators reconvene in Ottawa a week from today.
Jeff Skinner – Tage Thompson – Alex Tuch
Brett Murray – Peyton Krebs – Kyle Okposo
Rasmus Asplund – Dyland Cozens – Victor Olofsson
Anders Bjork – Mark Jankowski – John Hayden
Rasmus Dahlin – Henri Jokiharju
Mattias Samuelsson – Mark Pysyk
Robert Hagg – Will Butcher
Starting Goaltender: Michael Houser
Brady Tkachuk – Josh Norris – Drake Batherson
Alex Formenton – Tim Stutzle – Nick Paul
Tyler Ennis – Chris Tierney – Adam Gaudette
Zach Sanford – Dylan Gambrell – Austin Watson
Thomas Chabot – Jacob Bernard-Docker
Nick Holden – Artem Zub
Erik Brannstrom – Josh Brown
Starting Goaltender: Matt Murray (expected)