Senators welcome Sabres to Scotiabank Place

While injuries continue to mount for the Buffalo Sabres, the Ottawa Senators are ready for the return of two key defenseman as well as the debut of their new center.

Kyle Turris is set to play in his first game with the Senators and both Sergei Gonchar and Filip Kuba are slated to return from injury in time for tonight's meeting with the hobbled Sabres.

Ottawa is coming off its third victory in nine games, a 6-4 win over the Penguins on Friday. Jason Spezza logged two goals and two assists, while Jared Cowen added a career-high four points off a goal and three helpers.

"We did a good job of coming back in this game and not sitting on the lead," said Daniel Alfredsson, who also scored and had two assists. "A good win against one of the best teams in the league."

Spezza, named the NHL's First Star for the week on Monday, has three goals and eight assists over a five-game point streak and is tied for sixth in the league with 36 points. Defenseman Erik Karlsson added three assists and is second in the NHL with 27 helpers on the season.

Ottawa played without forward Milan Michalek, who went into Friday's game tied for the league lead with 19 goals. However, he is out indefinitely due to a concussion suffered last Tuesday versus the Sabres.

The Senators picked up some help up front on Saturday by getting Turris from the Phoenix Coyotes for defenseman David Rundblad and a draft pick. Turris was the third overall pick of the 2007 draft, but logged just 19 goals and 27 assists in 137 games with the Coyotes.

Turris was a restricted free agent this offseason and held out for six weeks before finally signing a two-year deal in late November. He now moves from playing under the radar in Phoenix to a hockey hotbed in Ottawa.

"It's a lot different pressure, but I'm ready for it and I'm really excited to get started," said Turris.

Ottawa should also get a boost with the return of Gonchar and Kuba. The former missed the past four games with an upper-body injury, while Kuba has missed the past nine with the same ailment.

The Sabres won't be getting any healthy bodies back tonight and in fact are expected to debut another pair of forwards Tuesday after losing Tyler Ennis (left ankle) and Colin Stuart (lower body) to injury in Saturday's 8-3 loss to the Penguins.

Having already used nine rookies this year, both Derek Whitmore and Marcus Foligno are slated to make their NHL debuts tonight after getting recalled from the minors on Monday. Foligno is the younger brother of Senators forward Nick Foligno.

Buffalo, which has lost 124 man-games already this season, gutted out a 5-4 win over Toronto on Friday, but was routed in Pittsburgh the following night. The Penguins scored four goals in the first period and chased Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller twice from the game.

Miller allowed three goals on seven shots before getting lifted in favor of Jhonas Enroth in the first. Miller returned to start the second, but yielded another two goals in the frame and Enroth took over in the third.

"It's a little disheartening for the guys when you play back-to-back games and don't have a save early," said Miller. "I wasn't good enough. It wasn't anywhere close to good hockey on my part. We just have to regroup and recover."

Thomas Vanek, Paul Gaustad and Luke Adam were the scorers for the Sabres, who have lost three of four and six of nine and failed to win consecutive games for the first time since early November.

Vanek has three goals and two assists in his past two, while Jason Pominville recorded an assist in the loss to run his point streak to six straight games. He has a goal and seven helpers in that span.

The Sabres had won six in a row over the Senators prior to a 3-2 overtime loss a week ago. Cowen netted the game-winner 45 seconds into the extra frame against Miller off assists from Karlsson and Spezza.

Craig Anderson has played in all three games versus the Sabres this year, going 1-1-1 with a 2.81 goals-against average, and is expected to start tonight.

Buffalo is still 8-1-1 in its last 10 versus the Sens and has won five in a row at Ottawa. Derek Roy and Drew Stafford have both notched five points versus the Senators this year, though the Sabres are 0-for-10 on the power play in the three meetings.

Enroth was in goal for both wins, posting a 1.44 GAA.