Make it another year that Buffalo has been unable to win inside Scotiabank Center. The Sabres couldn’t end their bad luck in visits to Ottawa, where they haven’t won since 2012, as they fell to the Senators 5-2.
The momentum that propelled Buffalo to their electrifying win on Saturday over the Islanders certainly didn’t roll over into the start of tonight’s contest. After 20 minutes, Ottawa stood tall with a 1-0 lead thanks to Bobby Ryan, who would go on to claim a hat trick on the night. The Senators pounded the Sabres with 16 shots on goal in the first period alone, doubling up the Sabres’ output in the opening frame.
The second period looked like two different teams had taken the ice. The Sabres matched Ottawa on the scoreboard less than two minutes in as Mark Pysyk scored his first of the season. Pysyk, fresh off a call up from Buffalo’s AHL affiliate the Rochester Americans, fired a shot and stormed around the back side of the net to collect his own rebound. His backhand leapt over a sprawling Craig Anderson into the Ottawa net.
The Senators’ netminder didn’t offer up as much of a challenge on Buffalo’s next goal. The Sabres took the lead at 8:37 of the second period when Anderson thought he stopped a shot by Zemgus Girgensons, and stood idle as the Latvian forward slapped away at the loose puck. Girgensons dogged attempts eventually knocked the puck past Anderson for his 11th goal on the year.
Unfortunately for Buffalo, the second period just about seemed to empty their tanks. Ottawa tied the game up near the end of the middle frame with Ryan’s second goal on the night, and then took the reigns in the final period.
Ryan completed his hat trick a little over three minutes into the third period when he launched a one-timer past Jhonas Enroth off a perfect feed from defenseman Erik Karlsson.
Ottawa added their fourth goal at 11:54 when former Sabre Clark MacArthur notched his 11th tally on the year by collecting a missed shot by Chris Phillips at the side of the Buffalo net.
The Senators got one more on the scoreboard when Colin Greening was awarded a goal as he was hauled down by Nikita Zadorov on a breakaway to an open Buffalo net.
The Sabres have one more contest before we bid farewell to 2014. Buffalo will host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday evening to close out the year in the third meeting between the two teams this season. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:00 PM EST from First Niagara Center.