Senators edge Sabres in 2-1 shootout win
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — The Ottawa Senators didn’t play their best against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
But they were more than happy to pick up two points.
The Senators snapped a three-game losing streak and Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris scored in the shootout to give Ottawa a 2-1 win over the Sabres.
“With the position that we’re in, we need to find a way every night to rally for two points and that’s the start of it,” said Ryan, who is 6 for 8 in the shootout this season. “Now we need to get ready for a different test two days from now.”
Ryan Dzingel also scored for the Senators, who will host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. Craig Anderson made 38 saves for the win.
Matt Moulson scored for the Sabres and Robin Lehner stopped 25 shots.
The Sabres were without Evander Kane as he was suspended for the game after missing practice Monday.
Nearly 20 inches of snow fell in Ottawa on Tuesday. The Senators rewarded fans who braved poor road conditions to make it to the game by offering 50 percent off an upcoming game and a free ticket to those who were unable to attend due to the weather.
The Senators fell behind early, but seemed to get better as the game progressed.
“I think we had a really strong game and we deserved this win,” Lehner said. “I mean (Anderson) played well, but we were unlucky too with a few posts and offside goal and a few open netters that we didn’t get to, but that’s the way it is sometimes.”
Anderson was the difference for much of the game, including a huge save on rookie Jack Eichel with 15 seconds remaining in overtime to force the shootout.
“I didn’t think we had our ‘A’ game,” Senators coach Dave Cameron said. “No excuses, but we had some guys with the flu, some guys we weren’t sure were going to play and they came in and found a way to get two points and that’s huge. They battled and stayed with it.”
Tied 1-1 after two periods, Ottawa had a strong third period, but the Senators were unable to beat Lehner and were forced to overtime.
Anderson was the key reason the game remained tied after 40 minutes as Buffalo outshot Ottawa 18-9 in the second period. He made several saves to keep the Senators in the game.
“I think we lost momentum in the second period a little bit,” Anderson said. “It kind of went back and forth, but in the third I think we came out and set the tone and we’re able to generate some momentum going into the shootout.”
Ottawa gave up the first goal as Eichel made a brilliant behind the back pass to Moulson, who beat Anderson short side at the 6:01 mark of the first.
The Senators tied the game just over a minute later as Dzingel whacked away at a rebound and got it past Lehner for his first NHL goal.
“It was awesome,” Dzingel said of his first goal. “A lot of emotion thinking about my family and a couple of my friends’ moms passed away and I told them I would get one for them so a lot of emotion.
“It felt good to get the first one.”
Nick Paul made his NHL debut, he was the sixth player to do so this season for Ottawa.
NOTES: D Mark Borowiecki missed his first game of the season due to an upper body injury. LW Shane Prince was a healthy scratch. ... Sabres forward Brian Gionta played his 900th NHL game. Forward Johan Larsson returned to the lineup after missing the past four games with a lower-body injury.