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The Ottawa Senators were the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season, but could not get past the Buffalo Sabres in the playoffs.

Now Buffalo sits atop the standings but can't seem to beat Ottawa.

The Sabres are coming off a perfect four-game homestand as they go back on the road Wednesday looking to avoid falling to the Senators for a fourth straight time.

"I don't like to lose to them," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said after his team's 3-1 home loss to Ottawa on Dec. 16 in the most recent meeting.

"It gives them confidence. It's something we have to rectify as a team."

The Sabres (29-7-3) needed only five games to knock out the Senators (21-18-2) in last season's conference semifinals en route to the Stanley Cup finals. Buffalo has performed as if it could end up playing for the championship again this season, taking a big conference lead into the new year, but three of its seven losses in regulation have come against its Northeast Division rival.

Since losing 4-3 in the first meeting this season, the Senators have won the last three as they've scored two power-play goals in each game while killing off all but one of the Sabres' 17 extra-man chances.

"I think I owe them a bit for last year," said Senators goaltender Ray Emery, who allowed 15 goals in four playoff losses to the Sabres in May. "If you're not up to play these guys, they'll come back to bite you."

Emery has faced the Sabres three times this season and won them all, surrendering a total of four goals. He is 7-1-1 with a 2.47 goals-against average in nine career regular-season starts against them.

The Senators have not suffered a regulation loss in a season-high five straight games, though they lost 3-2 in overtime to Atlanta on Monday. They forced the extra period thanks to Tom Preissing's power-play goal with 3:55 left in the third period, during which they outshot the Thrashers 11-6.

"We definitely battled, and played the type of game we wanted to, as well," Emery said. "It's a frustrating one to lose, especially when you come back like that. At least we got a point out of it and there were some positive signs out there."

Emery had back-to-back shutouts before allowing two goals in regulation in each of his last two starts, and had a personal three-game win streak snapped Monday.

Ottawa leading scorer Dany Heatley has two goals and six assists in four meetings with Buffalo this season, though he enters this matchup having failed to score a goal in five consecutive games.

U can catch the game on TSN at 7:30 ET.:D
 
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