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Flashback: 4/5/06 – Quest for 100

With a 50-17-5 record, the Ottawa Senators were feared by many teams in the league, and for good reason. The Sens had arguably the scariest and most dangerous line in the league with Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza.

Coming into this game, the Sabres were just 1-5 against the Senators that season, and were outscored 29-10, and received a 10-4 beating from Ottawa in the first meeting of the year.

Despite the fact that Buffalo struggled against the Senators, the Sabres managed to put together a 46-23-6 record and were looking to get to 100 points on the season.

The Sabres were coming off a playoff-clinching shootout win over Toronto the game before.

Maxim Afinogenov got the Sabres on the board with a power play goal six late in the opening period. Sabres goaltender Martin Biron recorded an assist on the play, and the Sabres were out to a 1-0 lead.

However, the Senators came back and would tie the game with 30 seconds remaining in the first period. Alfredsson took a snap shot that beat Biron and the teams headed into the intermission knotted at one.

The goal shifted the momentum to Ottawa’s side, and the Senators came out and took the lead early in the second period. While the Sabres had the man advantage, it was the Sens who got the goal. Christoph Schubert scored the short-handed goal to put his team up, 2-1.

After Thomas Vanek took a hooking penalty, the Sens cashed in again. This time, it was Patrick Eaves with a power play goal, and the Sabres trailed by a pair.

Just 21 seconds later, Buffalo cut the lead in half after Mike Grier found Derek Roy, who beat Ray Emery to make it 3-2.

Halfway through the game, and with Heatley in the box, Rory Fitzpatrick scored a power play goal to tie the game at three.

The game remained tied until late in the third period, when Chris Kelly gave Ottawa a 4-3 lead. Former Sabres Vaclav Varada assisted on the play and the Senators had a one goal lead with six minutes to play.

The Sabres continued to battle back and with 40 seconds remaining in the third period, Daniel Briere tipped the puck past Emery to tie it at four, sending the game to overtime.

Because of Brian Pothier’s hooking penalty, the Sabres had an opportunity to cash in another power play goal, and they did just that. Briere’s wrist shot found the back of the net and the Sabres reached the 100-point plateau on home ice.

“The thing we’re going to build off is that we came back from behind and never quit,” Briere said.

Afinogenov finished the game with four points (1 G, 3 A) and was named the first star of the night. Biron made 30 of 34 saves in the win while Emery stopped 34 of 39.

 

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