The Buffalo Sabres snapped their three game losing streak and defeated the Ottawa Senators in a shoot out by a score of 2-1. Buffalo’s hard work, persistent play, and some juggling of the lines paid off this evening, after suffering a couple of tough losses this past week.
The first period of the game started out like many of the other ones this season, with one team dominating play with the other team trying to weather the storm. The only difference this time is that it was Sabres applying the pressure. For the first four minutes of the game Buffalo was swarming the Senators and had many great scoring chances. The Ottawa net minder, Robin Lehner,was up to the task and kept the Sabres off the scoreboard. At the 6:25 mark of the period the Sabres had a bit of a defensive let down. With Tyler Myers pinching in with an attempt to keep the puck in the Senator’s zone, Ottawa stormed out of their end on a two on one. On a pretty passing play from Cory Conacher to Milan Michalek, who shoveled the puck past Ryan Miller for his fifth of the season, the Senators went to the dressing room with a one nothing lead.
The second period began with Ottawa having the edge in play. With about half the period gone the Sabres and especially defenseman Brayden McNabb had an exceptionally strong shift resulting in a penalty being called on Erik Karlsson for hooking. While the Sabres failed to score with the man advantage, the team seemed to gain some momentum. Three minutes later Christian Ehrhoff gathered a loose puck in his own zone and brought into the Senator’s zone. After Ehrhoff’s shot was steered to the corner, Zemgus Girgensons picked up the loose puck and slapped it towards Lehner. The puck somehow slipped past the Ottawa goal tender and Girgenson’s third of the year tied the game at one.
The play began to open up quite a bit in the third period and both net minders came up with some big saves during the period. Twice during the period Miller robbed the Senators on point blank opportunities. Both Mika Zibanejad and Kyle Turris found themselves in front of Miller and on both accounts, Miller stuck out his right pad and kept the game knotted up. Four on four play in the overtime period carried over much the same way as the third with Ottawa having the upper hand in play but unable to put the winner past Miller.
The shoot out started perfect for the Sabres with Matt Moulson wristing a shot past Lehner for the one nothing lead. The lead was short lived however and it would take ten rounds to finally decide the outcome. Zemgus Girgensons , in his first opportunity in a shoot out, slid a back hander past the Ottawa goalie. After Miller shut the door on ex-Sabre Clark MacArthur, Buffalo came away with the 2-1 victory.
The two teams will meet again Thursday night for the back end of the home and home series, at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa. Puck drops shortly after 7:30 PM and the game will be broadcast on MSG.