Although it wasn’t a sold out crowd, the fans at the First Niagara Center were loud, and they got to see a 4-2 Sabres victory over Ottawa.
The Sabres avoided a four game sweep with the win, and have now won two straight games.
It looked as if the Senators had the momentum even with the game tied at two in the third period, but Buffalo found a way to win. Brian Flynn and Jochen Hecht scored 12 seconds apart to go up 4-2 late in the third period.
Ottawa pulled the goaltender with two minutes remaining, but they couldn’t inch any closer. Senators’ backup goaltender Robin Lehner got the start in over Craig Anderson. It was Lehner’s first career appearance against Buffalo.
At the other end, Ryan Miller stopped 35 of 37 shots, earning the win.
“We were difference makers in the 3rd period,” Miller said.
The Sabres played their first game of the season without former captain Jason Pominville.
“Jason being traded is tough, but at the same time, he could’ve been injured,” Miller said. “The approach you have to take is if somebody is not in, somebody steps up. We just have to go one at a time here.”
With Pominville gone, the Sabres have not named an captain, but did put an “A” on Steve Ott’s jersey.
“I’m very honored to have it on my chest,” Ott said. “It means a lot, but if we play the game the right way, it doesn’t matter what your last name is as long as you go out there and play hard and give that honest effort, I think that’s very respectable and we’re going to do that the rest of the way.”
“Any time we lose a big guy, it gives other guys an opportunity to step up,” said Mike Weber, who was named the game’s first star. “It’s good to get these guys a little extra responsibility.”
Ott’s goal tied the game at two early in the third period.
In the first period, Luke Adam scored his first goal since December 17th, 2011.
“It was a great shot, said head coach Ron Rolston. “It was real good to see. I’m happy for Luke.”
You can listen to Rolston’s press conference below:
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The Sabres will look to build off of two consecutive wins.
“I didn’t think it was one of our best games,” Rolston said. “We just found a way to win in the 3rd, which was important for us. The guys really focused. That’s what we’re going to need every night. It’s just enjoying this one for a minute and getting refocused on our next game. ”
The Sabres will stay home and host the Devils on Sunday. That game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.