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Senators look to take second of home-and-home with Sabres

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The Sports Network
12/12/2013 11:38:55 AM
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The Ottawa Senators will try to avoid a home-and-home sweep at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Defenceman Cody Ceci has been called up by the Senators as Jared Cowen is out due to a suspension and Marc Methot is sidelined with the flu. Craig Anderson gets the start in goal for the Senators.

The Senators handed the Sabres just their second win in their last 10 games, falling 2-1 in the shootout in Buffalo on Tuesday. Zemgus Girgensons scored in regulation before netting the winner in the 10-round tiebreaker for the Sabres.

Ottawa fell to 2-3-2 in its last seven games overall despite 35 saves from Robin Lehner. The Sens have gone to a shootout in their last three games, losing two of those.

Milan Michalek scored in regulation for Ottawa, which plays three straight and nine of its next 11 at home.

"I thought we came on the road and we got a point, which is good," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "We're still gaining some traction in our game and a lot of things went good for us."

Cowen will miss the back end of this home-and-home set after getting hit with a two-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Girgensons on Tuesday.

The check came late in the third period after Girgensons received a long pass just over the blue line in the Ottawa zone. Cowen was not penalized on the play.

Lehner fell to 0-1-1 with a 2.45 GAA in two career games versus the Sabres.

Buffalo meanwhile, improved their strong record in the shootout with the win.

"We haven't had a chance to win a lot of games," goaltender Ryan Miller said. "I want to win some games. So, if this is going to be my opportunity to win a game for any number of games, I got to take it and give these guys some confidence."

Miller and the Sabres are 4-0 in shootouts this season and the netminder passed Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers for the most shootout wins in NHL history with 46.

The Sabres matched a season high with 36 shots on net Tuesday and improved to 7-4 all-time in shootouts versus the Senators. They beat Ottawa for only the third time in the past 10 meetings overall and have lost three of the last four as the visitor in this series.

Miller gets the start again tonight and is 7-4-2 with a 2.03 goals against average versus the Senators since the start of the 2010-11 season. Forward Cody Hodgson is out with a lower body injury and Ville Leino is back in after being a healthy scratch on Tuesday.

Ottawa's Craig Anderson is 8-3-1 with a 2.41 GAA in his career when facing Buffalo. That includes a 35-save shutout in a 1-0 victory at Buffalo on Oct. 4, Anderson's second career shutout versus the Sabres.

Milan Michalek Tyler Myers (Photo: Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
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