Craig Anderson males 46 saves, Senators beat Sabres 4-2
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — The Ottawa Senators have experienced third-period woes a few times already this season, and coach Guy Boucher was thinking about that as his club nearly gave up a three-goal lead.
Craig Anderson made 21 of his 46 saves in the third period and Ottawa held off the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 on Thursday night in the first game of a home-and-home series.
“In the third period I kind of had it in the back of my mind that if they did score early we would be fragile and that’s exactly how it was,” Boucher said. “It was tough for us to sustain what we did for two periods, for three periods. It’s a confidence issue there, it’s an experience issue there, but at the end the guys pushed hard, Andy was outstanding.”
Ryan Dzingel, Dylan DeMelo, Colin White and Bobby Ryan, into an empty net, scored for the Senators. Thomas Chabot and Mark Stone each had two assists.
Jason Pominville, playing in his 1,000th NHL game, and Jeff Skinner scored for the Sabres, and Carter Hutton made 28 saves.
Buffalo scored twice in the first minutes of the third period to cut it to 3-2.
Pominville scored 59 seconds in when he tipped a point shot from Jack Eichel past Anderson. Skinner scored on the power play at 3:55 on a near identical goal as he tipped Rasmus Ristolainen’s point shot.
“Obviously, we probably weren’t ready to start and we talked about staying out of the box, I know it’s part of the game, but the last couple of games we’ve taken too many penalties and kind of got ourselves behind the eight ball,” Pominville said. “But that third period we were going. We were on our toes, we had some zone time and we had some scoring chances.”
NOTES: The Senators played the 1,000th home game in franchise history. ... Erik Burgdoerfer and Mark Borowiecki were scratches for the Senators. Evan Rodrigues, Tage Thompson and Nathan Beaulieu were scratches for the Sabres.
The teams meet again in Buffalo on Saturday.