EditorsNote: Changes five to four — no. of days since Anderson’s 49-save effort vs. Vegas; changes their to its in 5th graf; corrects Buffalo stat in 11th graf
After holding a 3-0 lead through two periods, the Ottawa Senators survived a tense third period to eke out a 4-2 win over the visiting Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.
The Sabres scored twice within the first four minutes of the third period to get back into the game, and outshot the Senators by a whopping 23-8 margin in the final frame.
Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson held steady against this attack, however, and Bobby Ryan’s empty-net goal clinched the victory for the Senators with 20 seconds remaining.
Anderson finished the game with 46 saves, his second-highest total of the season. Anderson has faced 40-plus shots in four of his 11 games this year, including a 49-save effort just four days ago in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Twelve of the Senators’ 32 shots came on the power play, as Ottawa capitalized twice from its five power-play chances.
The first came at 6:55 of the first period, when Ryan Dzingel jammed the puck into the side of Buffalo’s net.
Dylan DeMelo scored an even-strength goal one minute into the second period, with help from an unexpected advantage. The defenseman’s shot from the point missed the net, but the puck took a fortunate bounce off the boards and deflected off Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton and over the line.
With Ottawa back on a power play at 14:47 into the second period, Mark Stone faked a shot, only to pass the puck out to a wide-open Colin White. The center scored his third goal of the season to extend the lead to 3-0.
Jason Pominville commemorated his 1,000th NHL game with a goal, redirecting Jack Eichel’s point shot at 0:59 of the third period to put Buffalo on the scoreboard.
Less than three minutes later, Jeff Skinner gave Buffalo a power-play goal, converting another redirection for his team-leading seventh goal of the year.
The loss was Buffalo’s third in a row, with two of the three defeats coming by a single goal and two in overtime.
The two teams will play again Saturday in Buffalo in the second half of the home-and-home set.
—Field Level Media