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NHL Game Summary - Ottawa at Buffalo

(Friday, March 26th)

Final Score: Ottawa 4, Buffalo 2

Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist and Brian Elliott turned in another strong outing with 41 saves, as Ottawa kept the Sabres from clinching a playoff berth and gained ground in the division with a 4-2 win at HSBC Arena.

Spezza's tip-in of Daniel Alfredsson's point shot on the power play served as the eventual game-winner late in the second period.

Elliott, who had posted back-to-back shutouts against Philadelphia and Montreal coming in, held a hungry Buffalo squad to one goal from there to seal a third consecutive Senators win.

It's Ottawa's first three-game winning streak since setting a club record with 11 consecutive victories from January 14-February 4. The Senators had lost five straight and eight out of nine prior to their recent success and moved three points clear of Montreal for fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Alfredsson and Chris Kelly also logged a goal and an assist for Ottawa, while Peter Regin got his 11th goal of the season.

Jason Pominville and Tim Kennedy scored for Buffalo, while Ryan Miller stopped 27 shots.

Instead of locking up a spot in the postseason, Buffalo saw its lead over Ottawa in the Northeast Division shrink to five points and had a four-game win streak halted.

It was the Sabres' ninth straight loss in the series and fifth this season. The teams have one game against each other left, a potential division-deciding re-match set on April 10 in Ottawa.

It took a fluke goal to finally solve Elliot with 9:08 remaining in the second. Kennedy banked it in off the skate of Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson from behind the net to make it a 2-1 game.

Spezza's tip in front of Alfredsson's one-timer re-established Ottawa's two- goal advantage on the power play about three minutes later.

It remained 3-1 with 40 minutes in the books, but the Sabres drew back within one just 1:34 into the third when Pominville roofed a wrister past Elliot on a rush down the left wing.

Elliot logged 11 saves the rest of the way and survived an Ottawa bench minor with 2:56 to play. Alfredsson then assured the outcome on an empty-netter with one second left.

Ottawa took an early lead on Kelly's disputed score 6:42 in. Jarkko Ruutu flung a wobbly shot in on Miller and Kelly used the backhand to push it across the goal line while the net was coming off its moorings.

The Sens' Mike Fisher received a five-minute boarding major and game misconduct for running Patrick Kaleta into the end boards with 4:28 left in the opening period.

A good portion of Buffalo's advantage was wiped out, though, with Tim Connolly's slashing penalty and it remained 1-0 after 20 minutes.

"I thought our special teams compete wasn't good enough," said Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff. "I was angry with Tim, I was angry with the power play in general. That's where the lack of compete came in."

Elliot continued his stellar play with 17 saves in the first, and Ottawa had a two-goal lead 5:36 into the middle stanza.

Spezza took possession of the puck near the Sabres' net and slipped a blind pass back to the right circle where Regin unleashed a blistering shot to the top left corner.

Game Notes

Buffalo fell to 22-10-6 at home in the middle test of a three-game homestand that wraps Saturday versus Tampa Bay...Ottawa won its second straight road game after dropping four in a row, moving to 16-20-1 as the guest...Sens forward Alex Kovalev suffered a lower-body injury in the win over the Flyers on Tuesday and did not make the trip to Buffalo...Ottawa hosts Florida on Saturday.

03/27 01:27:14 ET

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