Ottawa, ON (WGR 550) -- The Sabres got some good news and some bad news at their morning skate. Zach Bogosian is returning after missing six games and most of a seventh with a rib injury. Evander Kane missed the skate because of an illness and is questionable.
Matt Moulson skated on the left side with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart. That left Nick Deslauriers on a line with Derek Grant and Tyler Ennis.
Bogosian took Taylor Fedun’s place next to Justin Falk.
The Sabres have had good luck against Ottawa this season taking seven out of eight points. The last game was on February 4 and was a 4-0 shutout for Robin Lehner. Lehner enjoys playing his old team as he’s 3-0-2 with a 1.18 goals against and .961 save percentage.
Buffalo blew a chance to pull to within three points of the playoffs thanks to the Vancouver loss. Now the Sabres are five points out of the Wild Card and eight points out of the Atlantic Division spot. A regulation win over Ottawa puts them six out in the Atlantic.
In the past six games Buffalo has had 10 power plays while the opposition has had 22. The Sabres are 4-for-10 which is 40 percent, but have only killed off 16 of the 22 penalties which is an awful 72.7 percent.
The Sabres give up way too many shots which means they rarely have the puck. Dan Bylsma said they’d have more power plays if they played the right way, “That should be an indicator as to how we play. We think if we play a north game, play a speed game, play in the offensive zone, we should be drawing penalties. With the way you play, you should be drawing penalties against you and get you on the power play.”
Buffalo has been on the power play 167 times this season. Carolina has the least amount of power plays at 157.
Jack Eichel has had assists, but only one goal in nine games. Brian Gionta has also cooled off with the same.
Rasmus Ristolainen has one goal in 25 games. Marcus Foligno has one in 16 and Ryan O’Reilly has two goals in 11 games.
Ottawa will stay with Craig Anderson. Anderson had only played one game since losing to the Sabres 5-4 on November 29. He returned last Saturday and had a 33 save shutout win over the Islanders.
This season Anderson is 13-6-1 with a 2.34 goals against and .927 save percentage.
Ottawa’s leading scorer is Erik Karlsson who has 37 assists and 45 points. Karlsson has just one goal in 26 games and one point in his last four.
Mark Stone has 20 goals including four in his last five games. The Sens have won two in a row with Stone scoring the game winning goal in both.
The Sens have only given up one power play goal in eight games.
It’s a packed pregame show with Schopp and the Bulldog tonight. Things get started at 6:30 with Dan Bylsma, Jack Eichel, Robin Lehner and Brian Gionta. You’ll hear from Josh Gorges in the first intermission with Brian Koziol.