NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Ottawa
(Thursday, March 27th)
Final Score: Buffalo 4, Ottawa 3 (SO)
Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) - Derek Roy scored the game-winner in the shootout as the Buffalo Sabres kept their playoff hopes alive with a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place.
Maxim Afinogenov, Paul Gaustad and Jochen Hecht each scored for the Sabres, who stopped a two-game slide. Ryan Miller made 25 saves in the win.
With the win, Buffalo now has 83 points, but sits five points out of the last spot in the Eastern Conference with five games to play.
"We have to go out every night and battle hard for wins, and that's exactly what we did tonight," said Roy. "We know we're in a fight for a playoff spot and a win here tonight is a step in that direction."
Mike Fisher scored twice while Jason Spezza also lit the lamp for the Senators, who have dropped three of their last four. Martin Gerber made 37 saves in defeat.
"They're a desperate hockey club," said Fisher. "But we should've been able to match them for 60 minutes tonight. We need points just as much as anybody right now. We have to be desperate too, and fight for everything we can get."
Ottawa now has 92 points on the season and sits in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference, one ahead of New Jersey and the Rangers. Also, the Senators trail the Penguins by five points for first place in conference.
After Spezza tied the shootout with a wrister between Miller's pads, Roy was the last shooter for Buffalo. He skated in on net and went from the backhand to the forehand before sliding the disc past the right pad of Gerber for the win.
With the score tied to start the third period, Ottawa took a 3-2 lead less than four minutes in as Antoine Vermette's pass from the left circle on the fly went to the front of the net where Fisher redirected it into the low right corner.
Buffalo, though, tied the game with 1:26 to play. From down low, Drew Stafford threw a shot on net that went wide, but Gaustad picked it up behind the net and wrapped it in from the right side for his 10th goal of the season.
The remainder of the third period and the overtime went scoreless.
Ottawa opened the scoring just 7:35 into the game as Spezza skated into the Buffalo end along the right side on a two-on-one break, faked a slap shot and then slid the disc between the pads of Miller.
The Sabres, though, tied the game less than a minute later as a turnover in the Ottawa end resulted in the puck coming to Afinogenov, who grabbed the puck in front of the net and lifted a shot into the left corner while on one knee.
Buffalo took a 2-1 lead with 7:15 to play in the first period. On the power play, Jason Pominville blasted a shot from the high slot that Gerber stopped, but Hecht was on the doorstep to tap in the rebound.
The Senators tied the game at the 4:17 mark of the second period. Holding the puck in his own end, Andrej Meszaros sent a pass up through the neutral zone where Vermette grabbed it. He skated into the Buffalo end and from the left point dished it to Fisher, who lifted a backhander into the net.
Ottawa plays in Boston on Saturday...Buffalo hosts Montreal on Friday...Fisher has 23 goals on the season, which is a new career-high...Ottawa won five of the eight games against Buffalo this season...Buffalo went 1-for-4 on the power play while Ottawa finished the game 0-for-3...Ottawa's Cory Stillman left in the first period with a lower body injury and is listed as day-to-day.
03/28 00:07:20 ET