The odds of the Sabres exacting some measure of revenge against their main tormentors keep going up. According to the Senators' Web site, the team had weather issues in Ottawa and didn't get to Buffalo in time to skate today. They just had the 17-minute warm-up, but that's the only time they've been on the ice since Wednesday.
They're sure to be rusty.
"We'd much rather have the skate after you've had two days off, but what can you do?" coach Cory Clouston said. "Right now, we're not having very much luck on our side, but we've just got to make the best of it."
Not much luck has been involved in the Sens piling up a 22-6-4 record against Buffalo since the lockout. Pascal Leclaire will get the start in net for Ottawa, while Ryan Miller will be in goal for the Sabres.
7:08 p.m.: The sellout crowd is into it as the puck drops. Must be all the out-of-towners back home and psyched for action.
7:10 p.m.: OK, so Chris Drury gets booed whenever he touches the puck, but Chris Neil doesn't?
7:14 p.m.: First three shots belong to Sens, with Sabres looking shaky with the puck until the Tim Connolly-Paul Gaustad-Mike Grier line gets some zone time with 15:42 to go.
7:15 p.m.: Miller looks sharp for the Sabres early. The rest of the team? Not so much.
7:19 p.m.: There have now been more commercial timeouts (one) than shots by the Sabres (zero) with 13:30 to go. Sens have tested Miller seven times. Mike Harrington just informed me that Urban Meyer has resigned from Florida due to health reasons.
7:26 p.m.: Commercial timeouts -- two. Sabres shots -- zero. Senators shots -- 10. Time left -- 9:50.
7:29 p.m.: Fans are urging Sabres to shoot. Tim Connolly hits post with 8:26 left -- but that's not a shot. Still zero with 7:20 to go.
7:32 p.m.: First penalty goes to Adam Mair for high-sticking AK-27 (Alex Kovalev) with 6:33 left.
7:36 p.m.: Miller's 16th save is his best so far, as he dives to glove Jonathan Cheechoo's close-range shot. Still no saves for Leclaire. Shots are 17-0 with 3:59 to go, as the third commercial timeout begins.
Nice ovation for Staff Sgt. Dan Fulcher, here with Chris Butler's Tickets for Troops program.
7:40 p.m.: The embarrassment -- which reached a new level as the crowd began chanting, "Let's get a shot on goal!" -- is over. Steve Montador's wrister with 2:37 left brought a ear-splitting 18-second ovation as the shots got to 18-1.
7:43 p.m.: The holiday spirit is gone as the fans boo the Sabres off the ice at the end of one period. The score is 0-0. The shots are 19-1.
8:01 p.m.: It takes Connolly just 34 seconds to get the first shot of the period.
8:03 p.m.: The lines that started the game were gone midway through the first, and the newest set of combinations starts the third: Vanek-Kennedy-Grier; Hecht-Connolly-Pominville; MacArthur-Roy-Stafford-Ellis-Gaustad-Mair.
8:07 p.m.: Ottawa finally takes its deserved lead. Kovalev tries feeding Ryan Shannon in front, and the puck bounces off Steve Montador's shoulder and in with 14:45 to go.
8:09 p.m.: It's 2-0 Ottawa just 50 seconds later. Miller stops a point shot, but Neil is alone in front to put the rebound through the goaltender's pads with 13:55 left. Neil gets some boos when name is announced. Shots are 7-6 in Sabres' favor this period with 13:08 to go.
8:21 p.m.: Sabres have 11 shots with 8:43 to go, and fans are still on them to shoot. They get chance to do so on power play as Neil goes off for tripping.
8:24 p.m.; Sabres get one shot on the power play.
8:29 p.m.: Buffalo fans finally get something to cheer about. Vanek has a shot blocked, then gets puck back from Mike Grier. Vanek's second attempt is a rocket that soars over Leclaire's shoulder with 2:45 to go.
8:34 p.m.: Sabres call a timeout with 1:10 to go after Chris Campoli trips Connolly to set up a four-on-three for the Sabres. Neil and Mair went for roughing with 2:42 left.
8:36 p.m.: Pominville ties the game with 41.9 seconds left on a slap shot from the left point that goes five-hole. The power-play goal makes the Sabres 4 for 51 with the man advantage in the past 14 games.
The period ends 2-2. Sens have 29-15 shot advantage.
8:55 p.m.: They're back. Sabres are 5-0-3 when tied after two, while Sens are 6-1-3.
9:02 p.m.: Roy gets shaken up and stays on the ice as Jess Winchester buries the center as he turns to shoot with 15:22 to go. Athletic trainer Tim Macre escorts Roy to the dressing room.
9:12 p.m.: Sabres' penalty killers come through, wiping out Toni Lydman's holding infraction with 12:12 to play.
9:24 p.m.: Senators get another shot on the power play as Kennedy goes off for holding with 3:04 to play.
9:26 p.m.: Another key kill by the Sabres. Down to 52.8 seconds left, still tied at 2-2. The Sabres have just two shots in the third period, while Ottawa has nine.
9:28 p.m.: Senators take nine of the 12 shots in the period, but with the scored knotted, we're going to ...
9:33 p.m.: Montador shows nice moves to get into offensive zone but slides a shot wide.
9:34 p.m.: No return by Roy.
9:38 p.m.: Sabres take four of the six shots in OT, but no goals so we're off to a ...
9:44 p.m.: Senators win, 3-2, after getting shootout goals by Kovalev and Mike Fisher. Leclaire stops Vanek and Connolly.