MacLean shakes up Senators lines against Sabres

Call it a line-up wrinkle, a change-up or a shuffle.

However you look at it, the Ottawa Senators will sport some radically different lineup combinations – at least at the outset – when they face the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night at Scotiabank Place.

Call it a line-up wrinkle, a change-up or a shuffle.

However you look at it, the Ottawa Senators will sport some radically different lineup combinations – at least at the outset – when they face the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night at Scotiabank Place.

Kyle Turris will centre a line with 19-year-old rookie Swede Mika Zibanajed on his left wing and 40-year-old veteran captain on the right side. Peter Regin will line up between straight-ahead, grinding wingers Colin Greening and Chris Neil. No nonsense centre Zack Smith will have skill on his wings in the forms of Milan Michalek and Jakob Silfverberg.

Newcomer Stephane Da Costa, recalled from Binghamton of the AHL, will have Jim O’Brien and Erik Condra on his wings.

Senators coach Paul MacLean says his team didn’t generate enough scoring chances in a 1-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday and a 2-1 defeat to the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday.

He believes his team made too many unncecessary plays.

“I call it ‘Give it to Johnny’, because we’re always trying to pass to the other guy, because Johnny has a better shot than I have or Johnny is in a better place,” MacLean said following Tuesday’s morning skate. “I thought we were tight, I didn’t think we were loose and confident with the puck.”

Defenceman Sergei Gonchar is expected to return from the flu, with Mark Borowiecki sitting out. But Borowiecki will take the pre-game skate, just in case Gonchar isn’t fully recovered. Up front, Kaspars Daugavins remains the healthy scratch and Guillaume Latendresse remains out with what the Senators have called “whiplash”.

Defensively, the challenge is trying to stop the Sabres high scoring trio of Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville and Cody Hodgson. Vanek leads the NHL in scoring, with eight goals and 11 assists in eight games and has already recorded a pair of five-point games.

Craig Anderson, who owns a 5-2-1 record and a league leading goals against average of 1.12 and save percentage of .964, will start in goal for the Senators. Jhonas Enroth is expected to get the start in the Sabres net, ahead of Ryan Miller.  Miller has a career record of 14-16-3 against the Senators.

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