A Shootout Shutout: Sabres Moving Up

Buffalo came into this game coming off a big win against the Blue Jackets 5-0 and Miller gaining his first shutout of the season.

The first two meetings between the two squads were split.  Buffalo winning 2-1 and then dropping the 2nd meeting in Buffalo 4-2. This time, there was no scoring in 65 minutes of action, meaning that Ryan Miller and Brian Elliot each recorded a shutout, regardless of the result.

Going into the shootout, shot totals were nearly even, Ottawa edging Buffalo by one shot, 32-31. Buffalo gained five of those shots in the extra frame, gaining multiple opportunities to win it, but Elliot stuffed every shot.

After the 65 minutes, the usual shootout followed, with the first three shooters (Kovalev, Pominville, Alfredsson), then Thomas Vanek, who had a team high of five shots buried a slap-shot from just outside the slot to beat Elliot blocker side to give Buffalo the shootout lead. Jason Spezza was the third shooter for the Senators, lost control of the puck and Miller making the simple save; giving the Sabres the victory.

Ryan Miller made back to back shutouts, giving him two on the season. He now has nine wins on the year with a .922 Save % and a 2.26 goals against average.

The Sabres improved to 3-0 in shootouts this season and moved into tenth place in the Eastern Conference, but remain six points out of the eighth spot.

The victory marked the first time in franchise history the Sabres entered a shootout with the score 0-0.

Every team in the Northeast Division earned at least a point on Saturday. Montreal was the only team in the NE that wasn’t involved in a shootout as they defeated the Sharks 3-1. Toronto defeated Boston 3-2 in a shootout.

Buffalo gets two days off before heading to TD Garden to play the Bruins in yet another key conference and divisional game, in which Buffalo needs at least a point to stay in range of the 8th and final playoff spot and keep pace with Montreal and Boston. Ottawa who is one point behind Buffalo after tonight, travels to Madison Square Garden with a key game against the New York Rangers.

GAME NOTES: Brian Lee D (OTT), Drew Stafford RW (BUF) and Craig Rivet D (BUF) were tonight’s healthy scratches, and Tim Connolly C (BUF) was out with a groin injury and Rob Niedermayer C (BUF) was out with a knee injury.  Buffalo defensemen Shaone Morrisonn left the game with what was originally determined to be an upper-body injury, but later was discovered that he simply was not feeling well.

Next Game: @ Boston | 12/7/10 | 7:30pmEST

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