The Ottawa Senators have not experienced victory since beating the Buffalo Sabres on the last day of 2023.
Trying a fifth time to win their first game of the new year Thursday, the visiting Senators will again look to take down the Sabres.
Ottawa owns an Eastern Conference-low 28 points and has been outscored 19-8 during its four-game losing streak – all on the road – that followed winning three of four to end 2023.
The last of those was a 5-1 home triumph over Buffalo on New Year’s Eve.
Tuesday night at Calgary, the Senators led 3-2 after two periods, then allowed the Flames to score four unanswered goals in the third for a 6-3 victory.
“It’s frustrating,” Ottawa defenseman Jakob Chychrun said. “Honesty, I don’t know. I wish I had the answers for us as a group. I think it can be really hard to stay positive at times, but we’re really left with no other option.”
Looking to end their slide, the Senators will conclude a five-game trek on the road, where they have lost nine of the past 10.
“We just need to continue to put the work boots on and find a way out of this hole,” said Chychrun, who recorded his 19th assist Tuesday.
Chychrun has a goal in each of Ottawa’s games (one win and one defeat) with Buffalo this season.
The Sabres are 7-6-2 since Dec. 7, but need to rebound from Tuesday’s 5-2 home loss to surging Seattle. After Alex Tuch’s 11th goal of the season tied it at 2 early in the second period, the Sabres allowed the Kraken to score the next three – all in the same frame.
It was another frustrating moment for Buffalo, which was trying to win a season-high third straight game.
“We’ve got to keep pushing forward,” said Tuch, who has two goals with three assists in the past three games.
Buffalo last dropped two straight in regulation at home on Dec. 3 and 5.
“We just have to stay even-keeled a little bit more and keep a better demeanor as a 20-man unit, and not let the ebbs and flows of the game really get to us,” Tuch added.
Though he was blanked at Ottawa in late December, Tuch had a goal with an assist to complement two goals each from Jeff Skinner and Tage Thompson during Buffalo’s 6-4 home victory Oct. 24 over the Senators.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 34 saves in that victory for Buffalo. He’s allowed three goals on 61 shots faced in winning each of his past two starts.
Rookie teammate Devon Levi, who stopped 21 of 26 shots faced on Tuesday, has a 3.90 goals-against average during his past six starts.
He saved 26 of 30 shots at Ottawa last month.
The Senators’ Joonas Korpisalo made 30 saves versus Calgary, but has a hefty 4.38 goals-against average while losing eight of his past nine starts.
Backup Anton Forsberg, meanwhile, has allowed seven goals while losing his past two starts for Ottawa.
Tim Stutzle leads the Senators with 34 points, but he’s recorded just one in his past six games.
– Field Level Media
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