Ottawa Senators at Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 11, 2011

The Ottawa Senators are still looking for their first win in the month of November after dropping another close one to the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

Ottawa Senators at Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 11, 2011
Kyle Turris #7 of the Ottawa Senators scores during the shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Senators defeated the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)


THE STORY:
The Ottawa Senators are still looking for their first win in the month of November after dropping another close one to the New York Rangers on Wednesday night. Up next: A date with the surging Buffalo Sabres, who have won three of four this month. Buffalo is starting to live up to preseason expectations that they would challenge for the Northeast Division crown.

THE SUBPLOTS: Which goalie will the Senators face tonight? Sabres coach Lindy Ruff raised some eyebrows last week when he started Jhonas Enroth in back-to-back games, the second of which came against the Senators. Understandable, considering No. 1 netminder Ryan Miller is a recent Vezina Trophy winner. As the old cliche goes, however, this business is all about winning. Enroth currently sports a 4-0 record and .952 save percentage, while Miller is only 5-5 and .913.

THE WILDCARD: Daniel Alfredsson, Senators. The captain is back, and not a moment too soon. The Senators need him to chip in offensively and take some of the pressure off the top line of Jason Spezza, Colin Greening and Milan Michalek. Alfredsson will play with Stephane Da Costa and Nick Foligno tonight.

THE OPPONENT: According to Ruff, goaltending isn’t the problem for the Sabres — it’s defence. The additions of Robyn Regehr and Christian Ehrhoff were supposed to bolster the back end, and they have in some ways. There’s room for improvement for both men, however. While Ehrhoff has put up eight points in 14 games, he’s also a minus-five on the season. Regehr has never been a big points producer, but he doesn’t have so much as a single assist this season.

THE QUOTE: “A lot of our game is real solid. Since the first day of training camp, we’ve been working on getting out of our zone, getting out of our zone, getting out of our zone, playing defence fast, and really, it’s been a main focus for us. And we’ve done that. We’ve done a good job of tracking the puck, playing without the puck. Where we haven’t done a good job is with the puck. We haven’t taken care of the puck.” — Senators coach Paul MacLean on his team’s decent play, which unfortunately hasn’t translated into points in the standings.

THE SICK BAY: Senators — D Matt Carkner (knee), C Peter Regin (shoulder), RW Chris Neil (ankle). Sabres — LW Jochen Hecht (head), LW Tyler Ennis (ankle).

THE PREDICTION: The Sabres are sizzling right now, while the Senators have lost four straight. This actually has all the makings of a letdown game for Buffalo, but I have a feeling Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek and whoever starts in goal (Enroth? Miller?) will get the job done at home. Alfredsson’s return will help, but not enough. (CLICK HERE TO SEE WHO THE REST OF OUR PREDICTION PANEL LIKES IN THIS ONE).

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