Senators 5, Sabres 3
Brian Elliott found a way to keep the Senators on their winning streak. The Senators' backup goalie replaced injured starter Pascal Leclaire to start the third period and made 16 saves to pick up the win and Ottawa topped the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 on Saturday night. "I don't know how fast my heart was going when I got in there," Elliott said. "The guys played really well in front of me. I felt I played pretty good and obviously they spotted me that lead and that helped as well." Daniel Alfredsson had two goals and an assist and Filip Kuba had a goal and three assists to lead the Senators. Chris Kelly and Milan Michalek also scored for the Senators, who have won three straight. The Senators have scored 14 goals during the streak. "I think it's confidence and a little bit of luck," Alfredsson said. "We're playing with more confidence and you can feel it in the locker room. When you score five like tonight, you've got to be happy." Thomas Vanek, Patrick Kaleta and Jason Pominville scored for the Sabres. Former Senators goalie Patrick Lalime faced 26 shots in just his third start of the season and took the loss. Elliott started the third for the Senators after Leclaire left the game with a lower-body injury as a result of a collision in the second with Jochen Hecht. Hecht fell over Leclaire and afterward the goalie seemed to favor his left leg. He finished with 24 saves. Senators coach Cory Clouston said Leclaire would be evaluated on Sunday. Vanek opened the scoring with a power-play goal in the first period. Parked at the side of the net, Vanek picked up a rebound and beat Leclaire shortside. The Senators responded with a power-play goal in the opening minute of the second period as Kuba fired a shot from the blueline. "I thought we came out real solid in the second period," Clouston said. "The first 12 to 13 minutes we played really well. We did a lot of good things defensively and that created offensive opportunities." Ottawa took the lead at 8:14 of the second when Alfredsson scored his seventh of the season on a quick wrist shot that beat Lalime. Ottawa made it 3-1 early in the third as Kelly tipped Matt Carkner's point shot and Michalek picked up his 10th goal of the season scoring on an odd-man rush. "I don't think we even need to focus on goaltending," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "I think the focus has to fall on our 5-on-5 play. That 4-on-3 that they scored against was just a fact that two of our forwards didn't get back." After Alfredsson made it 5-1, Kaleta and Pominville scored less than two minutes apart to pull Buffalo within two with just over nine minutes remaining. Notes: The Senators were without RW Alex Kovalev (personal), RW Shean Donovan (knee), D Anton Volchenkov (elbow). ... The Sabres RW Drew Stafford and D Nathan Paetsch were healthy scratches.