The Sabres try to make it five wins in a row on the road in Ottawa.

February 15, 2018 - 2:37 pm

Ottawa, ON (WGR 550) - The Sabres bring a four game road winning streak into Ottawa. Buffalo is 9-14-7 away from the arena which is a points percentage of .417. Inside the arena the points percentage falls to .352. Overall, the Sabres have won three of four games and have points in four out of five. As far as the success on the road Phil Housley said, “It’s hard to explain, I think the guys are really focused.”

Chad Johnson has two consecutive wins over the NHL’s number four team in Tampa Bay and number one team in Boston. Housley admitted he thought about sticking with Johnson, but he knows Robin Lehner plays well against his old team. Lehner is 5-0-2 against the Senators with a 1.39 goals against and .955 save percentage. Johnson’s goals against in four games vs Ottawa is 1.59 with a .943 save percentage.

The Sabres are 7-1-2 in their last nine against Ottawa and 4-5-1 in their last 10 here.

The Sabres have scored 17 goals in their last four games and 20 in their last five. Housley said that gives Lehner and Johnson some room for error, “It’s just a result of having a shot mentality and the approach to the game. In our starts we’ve been able to get that first goal and we’ve been able to get some confidence from that.”

The trading deadline is coming up fast. All trading is over at 3pm on Feb. 26. Phil Housley said he and Jason Botterill are in constant contact, “We’re on alert, but we talk every day about situations like lineup and what’s going on in Rochester, so obviously it’s getting closer to trade deadline and we’re going to continue to evaluate our guys.”

Marco Scandella has been playing defense with two youngsters this season. First, it was 23-year-old Rasmus Ristolainen and now it’s 25-year-old Casey Nelson who has only played 13 NHL games. Scandella turns 28 in eight days and he loves it when the young players come to him for advice, “Definitely, I remember being in that position when I was coming up in the league and it was always helpful when you had a guy take you aside and talk to you about certain plays.”

Ryan O’Reilly has really upped his game since January 7. In those 16 games he has nine goals and nine assists for 18 points. He has six points in his last two games, but has been a tower of strength in his own zone too.

Evan Rodrigues has four points in his last four games.

Rasmus Ristolainen has points in four straight games after going pointless for four. In his last 20 games the defenseman has four goals and 13 assists for 17 points. That would rank him fourth amongst defensemen during that time behind P.K. Subban, John Klingberg and Brent Burns who has 23 points.

Ottawa has lost two straight and nine out of 13. Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore will be playing their first games since being acquired from Los Angeles for Dion Phaneuf and Nate Thompson.

Gaborik has seven goals and seven assists for 14 points in 30 games. He’ll slide in on the right wing with Matt Duchene and Mike Hoffman.

Things have not gone well for Duchene since being acquired from Colorado. In 41 games with Ottawa he has just 10 goals and 12 assists for 22 points.

Bobby Ryan and Chris Wideman have been out injured for Senators.

The Sens only have three more points than the Sabres in the Atlantic Division. This is Buffalo’s first visit to Ottawa this season.

Join Mike Schopp for the pregame starting at 6:30 when he’ll be joined by Phil Housley, Robin Lehner and Marco Scandella.

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