OTTAWA (AP) -- The Ottawa Senators picked a poor time to suddenly
look ordinary with the playoffs coming up.
The win allowed Buffalo to get within six points of Ottawa for
the Northeast Division lead. Buffalo has four games left to play
while the Senators have five.
The Senators have lost three straight games for the first time
"Everything caught up to us tonight," said Senators coach
Bryan Murray. "We were behind them all night."
Ryan Miller was solid in net for the Sabres, making 30 saves.
Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff was pleased with the way Miller rebounded
from Friday's loss with a strong effort.
"I liked the way he played the game," said Ruff. "He really
had a sound game. I'm getting happy with where the team's at right
Patrick Eaves and Daniel Alfredsson scored for the Senators
(50-19-8), who let up six goals for the first time this season. Ray
Emery started the game in goal, but was pulled after allowing four
goals on 22 shots. Mike Morrison allowed the other two goals.
"Ray looked a little shaky on some, but no one (was playing
that well)," said Murray. "We weren't playing the game the way
we're supposed to win the game."
The Sabres (48-24-6) opened the scoring 77 seconds into the
first period as Drury collected a rebound and beat Emery through
Eaves picked up his 19th of the season on the power play to tie
the game, but just over a minute later Connolly regained the lead
The Sabres dominated the second period, scoring three goals to
chase Emery from the game.
Pyatt made it 3-1 at the 3-minute mark of the period beating
Emery, who was making his 21st straight start, high glove side.
McKee's goal just over three minutes later ended Emery's night.
"I didn't think I made any huge mistakes," said Emery. "When
things aren't going in your favor you've got to do anything you can
to change that."
Morrison came on in relief, marking his second appearance in a
Senators uniform since being picked up off waivers from Edmonton at
the trade deadline.
Jason Spezza scored his 41st goal to cut the deficit to 4-2
before Kalinin and Connolly closed out the scoring.
"Spezza turned it over and they took it and scored the fifth
goal," said Alfredsson candidly. "That really took the momentum
"We've got to play smarter and not give odd-man rushes like we
do. We can't turn it over time after time."
With the loss the Senators wrapped up its season series against
the Sabres with a 5-1-2 record.
The Senators were without D Wade Redden (personal reasons),
RW Martin Havlat (shoulder), D Zdeno Chara (hand) D Chris Phillips
(left knee sprain) and G Dominik Hasek (adductor muscle) RW Brian
McGrattan was a healthy scratch. ... Buffalo was without C Adam
Mair (concussion), C Jochen Hecht (knee), D Teppo Numminen (knee)
and LW Andrew Peters was a healthy scratch.