A few weeks ago the Buffalo Sabres were making things difficult for the Montreal Canadiens, pulling closer and closer to the Habs as they seemed to finally get their game in gear. What a difference fourteen days can make! The Sabres were shellacked tonight as the Ottawa Senators led by Bryan Smolinski put on a clinic putting the Sabres down 7-1 at the Corel Centre. For the Sabres the first five minutes were the best minutes, scoring their only goal at 4:15, the Sabre highlight reel ended right then and there. Buffalo has now fallen eight points behind the Islanders in the chase for the final playoff spot in the East.
Smolinski had a goal and two assists as the Senators entertained the sell out crowd in Ottawa and pulled even with Philadelphia in the Eastern Division. The Sens hold a game in hand at the moment and are starting to put together those solid games that everyone expected from the start of the season.
Former Buffalo tough guy Rob Ray rejoined the Senators tonight, filling in for Martin Havlat who began serving his two game suspension tonight for his stick work in Philadelphia the other night.
The Sens won't have much more time to make an impression on the home town fans, they have only four more home dates left in the regular season. But Sens fans aren't worried, they anticipate a long run of playoff hockey at the Corel Centre and look forward to watching the Sens in action into the end of May, possibly as long as mid June. There won't be an empty seat in the place for the rest of the year and scalpers are about to see an increase in profits to rival the high tech bubble of a few years ago. Lets just hope the team doesn't come back down to earth as fast as the stocks did!