The Sabres traveled to Ottawa to take on the Senators for their last game before the holiday break. This matchup was also their second meeting of the year, with Jack Eichel scoring four goals in their previous meeting, which was a 4-2 win at KeyBank Center. However, this game saw a different result, as J.G. Pageau was the difference-maker for the Senators in this game, scoring two goals in Ottawa’s 3-1 win over the Sabres at the Canadian Tire Centre.
After both teams got off to a slow start, Pagenau got Ottawa on the board late in the first, and would be the lone goal in the first. After solid play on defense in the second kept the deficit at 1, Girgensons tied the game after deflecting a shot from Evan Rodrigues that bounced in behind Anderson, scoring his sixth of the year.
However, early into the third, Ottawa regained the lead, courtesy of Pageau’s second goal of the night. Ultimately, an empty-net goal from Brady Tkachuk with a minute and a half to go that put the Senators up two and would seal the game for Ottawa
This loss was Buffalo’s fourth in their last five games, while Ottawa’s win was their second out of three during their current homestand as both teams head on break for the holidays this week.
Jack Eichel, who entered tonight’s game with a personal 18-game point streak, had an early shot on a 2-on-1 chance, but was stopped by Anderson, and was one of their best chances in the opening period. He also had a couple chances on their two power-play opportunities in the game, but finished with four shots on goal and his point streak came to an end.
Linus Ullmark made the start for Buffalo after earning a 3-2 win over L.A. on Saturday. Craig Anderson started in goal for the Senators. Ullmark made 27 saves, while Anderson stopped 43 of 44 shots faced in his first game since December 7.
Johan Larsson and Kyle Okposo were not in the lineup for tonight’s game, as Larsson still recovers from his injury, and Okposo was out tonight due to illness. In their absences, the Sabres went out with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen in the game.
After the holiday break ends, the Sabres will host the Bruins, who currently lead the Atlantic Division, Friday night at KeyBank Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.