OTTAWA -- It was a quiet, optional skate for the Sabres today in Canadian Tire Centre in advance of tonight's game against the Senators. Jhonas Enroth will again be in goal and coach Ted Nolan has only 12 healthy forwards so there's no changes up front.
On defense, Rasmus Ristolainen (flu) stayed home while Andrej Meszaros and Tyson Strachan will be gametime decisions. Meszaros told me he's fine after taking Sunday as a maintenance day, while Strachan skated extra so expect Meszaros to play. Mark Pysyk will play third game of the season after another callup from Rochester.
Some quick notes on tonight's game:
---The Sabres are gunning for consecutive wins against Ottawa for the first time since winning six straight from Dec. 4, 2010 to Nov. 11, 2011. They've lost four straight here, last winning on March 10, 2012.
---The Sabres are 6-5-1 in December and can clinch a winning month with a victory tonight.
----The Sabres are 9-2 in their last 11 home games -- but they're 0-4-1 in their last five on the road and their four road wins on the season are tied for the second-fewest in the league.
----It's on special teams where Buffalo is really suffering on the road. The power play is just 3 for 39 away from First Niagara Center (28th in the league at 7.7 percent) while the penalty kill is dead last at just 66.1 percent -- but is seventh at home at 86.2
----The Senators will start Craig Anderson in goal. He's 8-9-5, 2.43 and .928 but has been tough on the Sabres in his career -- going 10-3-1 with two shutouts, 2.28 and .932.
BREAKING AFTER PRACTICE: The Sabres have put injured goaltender Matt Hackett on waivers, ostensibly so he can play in Rochester. Hackett tore his ACL last April in Boston and has been skating for a few weeks. Former Sabre Derek Roy was waived yesterday by Nashville and has cleared. He will report to Milwaukee, his first stint in the minors since the 2005-06 season.
Click below to hear Ted Nolan's pregame comments, with thoughts on Enroth and the rejuvenated play of defenseman Andrej Meszaros and forward Chris Stewart.