It was a lot closer in the end than it should have been, but the Ottawa Senators got the two points with a 4-3 win. Ottawa started strong with Erik Condra, Chris Neil and Daniel Alfredsson all having good chances to score in the early part of the first period. Alfredsson drew a penalty and on the ensuing power play, Erik Karlsson's wrist shot found a way through traffic to put Ottawa ahead. However just seconds later, Peter Regin went for a hit, missed, and fell into the boards. Chris Phillips was caught standing around covering no one in particular and Tyler Ennis put home the rebound to tie the game. Just two and a half minutes after that, Regin would pick up his first point off the season by winning a faceoff and having Phillips' shot inexplicably beat Jhonas Ehnroth. Another three minutes later, Alfredsson would put the Senators up by two following a great pass by Mika Zibanejad.
The first period was dominant for Ottawa, and they would make it a three goal lead on Chris Neil's third of the season thanks to a gorgeous pass from the corner by Regin. Unfortunately, once again the Sabres would score shortly after an Ottawa goal. Jordan Leopold would catch Anderson cheating and tip the puck into the open side to make it a two-goal game once more.
The third period for the most part was rather uneventful. Midway through the period, with the Senators up two goals, the shots were 2-1 in Buffalo's favour. The Sabres would catch a break though with about six minutes left on Jason Pominville's goal that went in off his skate. The goal was initially waved off, however upon further review it was correctly deemed a good goal. Buffalo almost tied the game with seconds left, though Andre Benoit would block the shot and preserve the 4-3 win.
Sens Hero: Daniel Alfredsson
Alfie was the best player on the ice, and didn't look his age tonight. He was flying down the ice, scoring a goal, breaking up plays on the penalty kill and was generally a threat all night.
Sens Hero: Erik Karlsson
While Karlsson didn't have as many of his trademark rushes up and down the ice, he did score the opening goal, played 31:26, including almost five minutes on the penalty kill. The NHL's leading scorer Thomas Vanek was held to just one shot on net, plus another shot missed and blocked. This was the first game this season Vanek did not record a point. Karlsson has played 63:34 in the last two games and averages 28:18 for the season, good for third in the NHL.
Honourable mention: Peter Regin
Regin got his first two points off the season. While the first was just a faceoff win, the second was a great pass to Chris Neil.
Honourable mention: Chris Neil
Neil as mentioned had a goal, which turned out to be the winner. He had a team high four shots and leads all Senators forward with 27 shots on net for the season.
Dishonourable mention: Craig Anderson
It had to happen at some point but Anderson didn't have a particularly good game. He was caught cheating and left the side open for Leopold on the 4-2 goal and gave up three goals on 23 shots. The Sabres didn't create a whole lot tonight but still ended up with three goals.
- The Senators dominated the faceoff circle, going 35-17 on the night. Kyle Turris led the way winning 12 out of his 15 faceoffs. All four centres were over 50% tonight.
- Despite leading for most of the game, and with Sergei Gonchar injured, Patrick Wiercioch still played slightly more than Chris Phillips.
- Chris Phillips randomly fell down at the blue line.
- Mark Borowiecki only played eight minutes but still managed five hits.
- Jakob Silfverberg had four shots on net, two missed shots, and one painful blocked shot at the end of the game. He will be fine though according to Paul MacLean.
- Ottawa is now 4-0-1 at home. They have another three home games coming up against Carolina, Winnipeg and Buffalo once again.
That is an ugly shot chart. Ottawa allowed three goals from close to the crease today. This must mean we miss Matt Carkner or Borowiecki needs to play more.