The Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators are separated by 1 point in the Northeast Division standings.
That could change after the rivals play a home-and-home series, which begins Thursday at Scotiabank Place.
The Canadiens (29-20-6) are 2nd in the division with 64 points - 14 behind first-place Buffalo - while the Senators (30-22-3) are right behind with 63 points. Montreal and Ottawa are currently the fourth and sixth seeds, respectively, in the Eastern Conference, where just three points separate the fourth and eighth-place teams.
Both clubs have lost three of their last four games, though, and are looking to get back on track.
Ottawa had a chance to leapfrog over Montreal in the standings Wednesday, but fell 3-2 to the Sabres. Peter Schaefer tied the game early in the third period, but Buffalo's Thomas Vanek scored his second goal of the game with four minutes remaining.
"We tried," Senators coach Bryan Murray said. "The guys had the puck and had a flurry for a couple of shifts, but not consistently."
The Senators will look for a better result at home, where they are 6-1-1 in their last eight games. They'll host a Montreal team that has dropped seven of its last nine on the road.
Senators goaltender Ray Emery has dropped his last three starts beginning with that defeat, but backup Martin Gerber may get the start Thursday as Ottawa plays on consecutive nights. Gerber is 4-1-0 with a 2.41 GAA in five career starts versus the Canadiens.
U can catch the game on A-channel at 7:30 PM ET. Hope the Sens can pull off a win.