The Buffalo Sabres open their home schedule against their division rival Ottawa Senators Friday night.
Coming off of a 2-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in Detroit, the Buffalo Sabres look to work on their offense and bring a better result to home fans.
Tonight, this is the season opener for the Senators who have completely changed the look of their roster. After a second round exit in the playoffs last season, the Senators have parted ways with long-time captain Daniel Alfredsson and have acquired center Bobby Ryan from the Anaheim Ducks. This season will also see the returns of Erik Karlsson, Craig Anderson, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek from injury.
Ryan will be the team's new leader going forward.
"He's going to play in a top-six, a top-three role, all the time so it's a responsibility of preparation on a nightly basis to go with that and we feel he's ready, he's already a known factor in the league that he can, he's scored 30 goals in the league so he's a bona fide player that can do that and we're going to give him the opportunities he needs to get better," head coach Paul MacLean said.
The Senators are one of the favorites to make the playoffs and possibly win the tough Atlantic Division. The Sabres are trying to find their identity to work off of this season. For each team, tonight could be a statement game.
The Sabres already have one injury to worry about coming off of their loss to Detroit. Forward Ville Leino is out indefinitely and Johan Larsson will step into his place.
One bright spot for the Sabres was goaltending in Detroit. Ryan Miller came away with 32 saves on 34 shots and kept the Sabres in the game.
"It wasn't a game that got away from us. It was a game we definitely were in. We could've tied it up and if we play that kind of hockey all year against good hockey teams, we're going to be on the winning side of some of those," Miller said. "And if we're on the losing side, we're going to have a chance to come back and that's something good to see. Now we just have to show that we can come back and we've got a knack for a little bit of the dramatic at the end."
The Sabres will look to get their first win in front of the home crowd at 7:00 p.m.
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