National Hockey League
Preview
Ottawa at Buffalo
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Where: KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York

The two worst teams in the Eastern Conference are mired in horrendous tailspins, but one of them will get back in the win column when the reeling Ottawa Senators visit the skidding Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night. Ottawa, which reached the Eastern Conference finals last season, has dropped 11 of its last 12 while Buffalo has lost 13 of 15.

The Senators have lost four straight -- three by shutout -- entering the final stop of a season-high seven-game road trip against the only team below them in the East. “When things don’t go well for an extended period of time, it’s not a great situation," Ottawa defenseman Dion Phaneuf said. "It’s not about the coaching staff. It’s not about one aspect here or one aspect there, it’s about us collectively as a team. We haven’t played well enough as a team to get out of it.” Neither have the Sabres, who came close at the end of their four-game trip by dropping a pair of 3-2 overtime decisions in Chicago and St. Louis. Buffalo has had the upper hand in the series of late, riding an eight-game point streak (6-0-2) against the Senators after winning four of five meetings last season.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, RDS, TSN5 (Ottawa), MSG-Buffalo

ABOUT THE SENATORS (9-12-7): Rumors of potential trades are swirling around Ottawa -- even superstar captain Erik Karlsson's name has been floated about -- but leading goal scorer Mark Stone doesn't think making a deal is a cure-all. “I think the changes have to come with the guys in the locker room," Stone said. "We have to change either the way we’re preparing or we have to change the way we’re playing and commit to a strategy.” Stone has been held held off the scoresheet in the last four games and is minus-10 in that span.

ABOUT THE SABRES (7-17-6): Evan Rodrigues scored his first two goals of the season to help Buffalo erase a two-goal deficit and force overtime versus St. Louis. Rodrigues was appearing in his third game since his promotion from the minors. "He's got a good nose to where to be in the right position at the right time," coach Phil Housley said. "The puck, sometimes in games, follows you. It was following him tonight. He has some good speed, he has really good lateral movement and he gets into those areas to score. It was good to see him get on the board."

OVERTIME

1. Sabres C Jack Eichel has four goals and 10 points in seven games versus the Senators.

2. Ottawa hasn't beaten Buffalo in regulation since Oct. 8, 2015.

3. Sabres G Robin Lehner has faced 133 shots on goal in his last three starts (1-0-2).

PREDICTION: Sabres 4, Senators 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Ottawa 9-12-3-4 L4 4-5-2-3 5-7-1-1 0-1-1-0 9-11-2-4 2-2-0-1
Buffalo 7-17-5-1 L2 3-9-0-1 4-8-5-0 0-2-0-0 7-15-5-1 2-4-1-1
Last Meeting
Ottawa Buffalo
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
2/14/17 BUF 3 OTT 2 41 22 0-2 25 39 0-2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Ottawa B. Ryan 2
Buffalo J. Bailey 1
Goals Player  
Ottawa D. Phaneuf 1
Buffalo J. Bailey 1
Assists Player  
Ottawa F. Claesson 1
Buffalo J. Eichel 1
Saves Player  
Ottawa C. Anderson 22
Buffalo R. Lehner 39
Season
Total Points Player  
Ottawa M. Stone 32
Buffalo E. Kane 28
Goals Player  
Ottawa M. Stone 17
Buffalo E. Kane 14
Assists Player  
Ottawa E. Karlsson 17
Buffalo J. Eichel 16
Saves Player  
Ottawa C. Anderson 603
Buffalo R. Lehner 673
Quickchart Matchup
Ottawa Off vs  Buffalo Def
2.71 GF
3.37 GA
30.5 Shots
32.2 Shots
17 PP
18 PK
Buffalo Off vs  Ottawa Def
2.13 GF
3.36 GA
30.9 Shots
31.2 Shots
12 PP
19 PK