3 - 2 Final - OT
  for this game

Cowen leads Sens over Sabres in OT

Dec 14, 2011 - 4:49 AM
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Jared Cowen scored the game-winning goal 45 seconds into overtime, as the Ottawa Senators edged the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2, at First Niagara Center.

Jason Spezza brought the puck into the offensive zone on the left wing and flung it into the right corner for Erik Karlsson. Karlsson turned and found an unchecked Cowen, who buried it behind Ryan Miller after sneaking in from his point position.

Milan Michalek and Peter Regin also scored, while Spezza ended his night with a pair of assists for the Senators, who snapped a six-game skid against the Sabres dating back to last season.

Craig Anderson stopped 27 shots in the win.

"We had a great start to the game," Senators head coach Paul MacLean said. "We had a lot of energy, and had some turnovers in the second period, but I thought we recovered well from that and found a way to win."

Paul Szczechura and Tyler Ennis lit the lamp for the Sabres, who have lost two straight games and seven of 10. Miller made 41 saves in defeat.

Ottawa struck just over a minute into the opening period when Colin Greening fired a shot from the slot that was kicked to the right circle by Miller, but it was corralled by Spezza, who found Michalek in the slot, and the NHL's leader in goals made no mistake, firing it past Miller to give his team the 1-0 lead.

Buffalo knotted the game at one at 14:16 of the first period as a result of a bad turnover in the defensive zone by the Senators.

After Jason Pominville intercepted a clearing attempt by Chris Phillips at the left point and sent it towards the net, the puck deflected off two Sens defenders before Szczechura picked it up in the slot and backhanded it past Anderson.

Sloppy play in the defensive zone allowed the Sabres to take the lead at 15:44 of the first stanza.

David Rundblad picked the puck up in his own end and looked to start the breakout, but never saw Derek Roy, who swooped in and stole the puck. Roy then dished it to Ennis at the point, who sent it to Drew Stafford at the left circle before getting it back in the slot and burying it.

After a scoreless second stanza, Ottawa found the tying goal at 7:27 of the third period when Regin fired a slap shot from the right point that got through bodies in front and deflected off the leg of Luke Adam and past Miller.

"The first eight minutes weren't good, but I thought we started going after that," Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff said. "They put us in a situation where we got a little frustrated and took some penalties, and that turned the momentum back their way."

Game Notes

Prior to the game, Buffalo activated forward Paul Gaustad and defenseman Mike Weber from injured reserve, and placed forward Nathan Gerbe on IR...Buffalo improved to 4-1-2 against the Northeast Division this year...Stafford is one goal shy of 100 for his career...It was Szczechura's first goal since March 25, 2010...Senators forward Nick Foligno played in his 300th career NHL game...Buffalo went 0-for-3 with the man advantage, while the Senators failed to convert on four power-play opportunities...Michalek left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury.