Sabres clash with Sens in Ottawa

A pair of Northeast Division foes will square off for the first time this season tonight, as the Buffalo Sabres take on the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place.

Buffalo won five of the six matchups between the clubs a year ago and has won four straight and six of the previous seven encounters with the Senators. The Sabres have prevailed in four straight games as the visitors and haven't lost in Ottawa since Dec. 16, 2009.

The Sabres ended a two-game slide and won for the second time in six tries with last night's 2-1 victory over the visiting Calgary Flames. Nathan Gerbe's goal early in the third period proved to be the difference and Drew Stafford netted the other goal for Buffalo, which got 29 saves from Jhonas Enroth.

"I just wanted to one-time it as quick as possible," Gerbe said of his goal. "It was a pretty lucky chance there."

Buffalo forward Patrick Kaleta missed his first of four games after he was suspended by the NHL for an illegal hit on Flyers forward Jakub Voracek on Wednesday. Enroth improved to 3-0 with a 1.29 goals-against average and .958 save percentage. Ryan Miller could return to the crease tonight.

Thomas Vanek was held without a point for only the second time this season on Friday and leads the Sabres with eight goals and 16 points. Buffalo closed out a five-game homestand with only two wins last night and will hit the road for the first time since Oct. 22 at Tampa Bay.

Ottawa will resume a three-game homestand Saturday and has dropped two in a row since prevailing in six consecutive contests.

In a 2-1 loss versus Montreal last night, Zack Smith scored the lone goal and Craig Anderson stopped 24 shots for the Senators, who will also host the New York Rangers on the residency.

"We had the puck on the first goal and we didn't have real good support on the wall and it ends up in the net," Senators head coach Paul MacLean said. "On the second one, we go to execute in the d-zone, we had some miscommunication and the puck goes to the wrong guy."

Senators defenseman Filip Kuba has five assists over the last four games. The Sens are 5-3-0 at home this season. Captain Daniel Alfredsson missed his third straight game because of a concussion and is not expected to play tonight. He is seven goals shy of 400 in his career.