Quick Hits: Sabres at Senators


The last time the Buffalo Sabres had won three straight games was back in November when Buffalo beat the Vancouver Canucks, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Florida Panthers.

On Tuesday night, the Sabres were looking to continue its hot streak in snowy Ottawa against the struggling Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. After a good pace to the first period, the game flat-lined in the final two frames with the score tied at one. After the extra-five minutes did no good, the game would go to a shootout where the Senators would get goals from Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris to end Buffalo’s shot at three straight wins.

The Sabres would play this game down a man as Evander Kane was forced to sit out after missing practice on Monday. Kane had been in Toronto the night before for the National Basketball Association’s All-Star Game at the Air Canada Centre. Kane had slept in, but did make the trip to meet his team in Ottawa. Kane apologized to the team for his actions, but he would sit out as a penalty for breaking team rules.

With Kane out of the lineup, Williamsville native Justin Bailey was able to play one more game with the Sabres with Johan Larsson returning to action after an ankle injury.

For Ottawa, they were desperately looking for a win as they came into the game losers of three straight games. The Senators also have gone 3-7-0 over its past 10 games.

The first period saw the Sabres get out on top first about six minutes in. Jack Eichel took a puck that was shot wide from the point and threw a no-look pass behind his back to Matt Moulson. Moulson then took the pass off his skate and too his stick, and put a backhander past Senators goalie Craig Anderson for his fifth goal of the season.

The lead would not last long as 1:09 later, Ryan Dzingel would score his first National Hockey League goal to tie the game.

The first period would end with the Sabres leading in the shot category with 13 shots over Ottawa’s eight, and also leading with 21 shot attempts over the Senators’ 17. However, the score would remain tied, 1-1.

In the second period, the Sabres would out-shoot the Senators 18-9 and put up 24 shot attempts over Ottawa’s 20, but the score remained tied, 1-1.

The third period would see both teams not put a shot on goal for nearly ten minutes, and also saw neither team put the puck in the net. Ottawa would out-shoot the Sabres 7-4 in the period, and also out-chance the Sabres 22-12 in the final period of regulation.

In overtime, both teams would get their chances to get the extra-point. Eichel had, perhaps, the best chance after Rasmus Ristolainen led an outlet pass to Eichel who tried to put the puck through the five-hole of Anderson. However, Anderson stayed with Eichel and made the stop with just seconds left in the overtime.

In the shootout, Ryan and Turris score the only two goals of the shootout while Eichel and Moulson miss on their chances. Ottawa would snap its three-game losing streak while ending Buffalo’s win streak.

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    • Moulson breaks the drought

It was a long time coming for Moulson, who had not scored in 44 straight games played. Finally, at the 6:01 mark of the third period, Eichel found Moulson with a beautiful no-look pass, and Moulson did the rest.

For Moulson, it was his first goal since November 1, 2015 when he scored against his former team in Brooklyn in a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders.

All around the #Sabres Twitter world, people rejoiced with Moulson’s goal.

Fair to say, people were excited. Even Moulson was too.

    • Shootouts suck

The Sabres have been very bad in shootouts this season, as now they are 1-5 in shootouts this season, and have not scored in the shootout since its last win on October 21.

It is time to just get rid of the shootout once and for all.

Many people like the way 3-on-3 has gone this season, so why is the NHL still so persistent with the shootout? Make overtime 4-on-4 to start for five minutes, then make it 3-on-3 until someone scores.

    • “Who needs Batman when you have Robin?!” – Dan Dunleavy

Robin Lehner was strong in net for the Sabres once again on Tuesday night. Lehner stopped 25 of 26 Senators shots on goal, including this save in overtime on Erik Karlsson.

Lehner is now 3-4-2 on the season with a 2.53 goals-against average and a .924 save-percentage. While the record and goals-against average may not look so impressive, his save-percentage numbers are very good with the amount of shots he has faced. 

Lehner will look to keep up the strong play in the Buffalo net, and will likely get more ice-time with the schedule playing out the way it is right now. Buffalo will next face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night, then the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday afternoon as part of Hockey Day In America on NBC.

    • Sabres-Senators one-goal games are just no fun

While the first period featured a fight between Nicolas Deslauriers and Chris Neil and two goals, and the second period featured a ton of shots and chances from both teams, the third period was a complete snore. Even the overtime session and shootout was very boring, and this seems to happen every time these two teams are in a heated battle.

The Sabres and Senators will have one more meeting this season on March 18 when the Senators are back in Buffalo since the season opener on October 8.

Written by Brayton Wilson

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