The Ottawa Senators have gone to shootouts in three straight
games – the last two on back-to-back nights – and only have four
points to show for it.
They may want to avoid another tiebreaker against the Buffalo
Sabres as the teams close out a home-and-home set at Ottawa on
The Senators (12-14-6) fell 2-1 to the Sabres on Tuesday, losing
in a 10-round shootout after failing to capitalize on a disallowed
Buffalo goal in the second period.
Milan Michalek broke a nine-game goal drought in the first for
Ottawa, but rookie Zemgus Girgensons responded in the second – when
Buffalo held an 18-9 shots advantage.
Ottawa, playing its third game in four nights, couldn’t score
again despite outshooting the Sabres 16-7 in the third period and
overtime. Girgensons went on to score the winner in the
“We created things and we played fast and we played more like we
want to play and we didn’t put them in the net,” Senators coach
Paul MacLean said. “But any time you come on the road and get a
point, it’s usually a pretty good trip so it could be a big point
at the end of the year.”
At 1-0-2 in its last three, MacLean’s team has at least been
consistently earning points after going 3-7-0 in the previous
Despite its NHL-worst record of 7-22-2, Buffalo is 4-0 in
shootouts – with Ryan Miller in net for all of those wins. Miller
made 35 saves to help the Sabres snap a three-game skid while
taking sole possession of first place with his 46th career shootout
victory. He had been tied with the New York Rangers’ Henrik
“He’s always battling and he made some huge saves again,”
defenseman Christian Ehrhoff said. “He’s been great every game, so
it’s definitely a broken record.”
Miller has gone 2-0-1 with a 1.31 goals-against average in his
last three starts against Ottawa.
The 19-year-old Girgensons scored for the second straight game,
giving him points in his last three. The Sabres hope the 14th
overall pick in the 2012 draft can continue to help provide a
boost, as they’re by far the lowest-scoring team in the NHL with 53
“He’s getting rewarded for his work,” coach Ted Nolan said.
“He’s always worked and good things happen when you do that. It’s a
good reward for a kid who’s worked so hard.”
Robin Lehner turned in a strong game with 35 saves for Ottawa,
which would like to take advantage of a lesser opponent Thursday
before matchups with Western Conference powers Los Angeles and St.
Louis close out its three-game homestand.
While Lehner could be back in net for this game, Craig Anderson
has posted shutouts in his last two matchups with the Sabres, the
most recent a 1-0 road victory Oct. 4 in which he stopped 35 shots.
Anderson, though, struggled again his last time out, allowing four
goals on 29 shots in a 5-4 shootout loss to Philadelphia on Sunday.
He has a 3.40 GAA compared to 2.36 for Lehner.
The Senators have gone 7-1-2 in the past 10 games in this series
and 3-0-4 in the last seven at home.
Ottawa will be without defenseman Jared Cowen, who was suspended
two games Wednesday for a hit to Girgensons’ head.