Senators
Sabres
4 - 3 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Corvo's goal in second overtime gives Senators first 2-0 lead

May 13, 2007 - 6:36 AM
BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- Defenseman Joe Corvo would not allow the Ottawa Senators to waste another chance to take a two-games-to-none playoff series lead.

Corvo scored at 4:58 of the second overtime, giving the Senators a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres in Game Two of their Eastern Conference final series Saturday.

Entering with an 0-8 record in Game Twos after winning the series opener, Ottawa battled back from an early 2-0 deficit and carried a 3-2 lead into the third period. But Buffalo co-captain Daniel Briere pre-empted the Senators' victory party by scoring with 5.8 seconds remaining.

Limited to zero shots on goal in just 15 1/2 minutes of ice time in the series opener, Briere forced extra time by converting his sixth shot of the contest. Tim Connolly fired a desperation shot from above the left faceoff circle that defenseman Anton Volchenkov got in front of for his ninth block of the game.

However, the puck went directly to Briere, who put it into a vacant net from alone on the right side of the crease to forge a 3-3 tie.

"In the last minute, we were going to tie it up and I thought the guys worked hard on the retrieval and got a puck to the net and got a little bit of a bounce and end up tying the game up," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.

The Senators refused to let the late goal deflate their spirits.

"I can forget about it very quick," Ottawa goaltender Ray Emery said. "It's not like I can do much about it, just refocus."

"The one thing you have to do is put it behind you," Senators defenseman Wade Redden added. "We still obviously had a chance to win the game. That's what we wanted, disappointing all the same."

Following a scoreless first overtime, Jason Spezza won an offensive-zone faceoff in the right circle, drawing the puck back to the point. Corvo wound up and slapped the rolling puck, which bounced on its way to the net before getting past goaltender Ryan Miller, sending the sellout crowd at HSBC Arena home disappointed.

"I'm well aware of how the puck went in," Miller said. "You're supposed to get the bounces in our rink. Unbelievable. A dirty puck off the slap shot, a drop shot catches the edge. It's a terrible way to end the game."

"Spezza drew it right back and it was bouncing, and I just made an effort to cut my stick just so it didn't fly on me, fly high on me, and just put it at the net," Corvo said. "It's obviously the biggest (goal) of my life. It was just total elation when it went in. Obviously just a great moment, something I'll always remember."

More than anything, the Senators were happy to get monkey off their backs when holding a 1-0 series lead.

"To be where we're at now, it's a position we've never been in," Redden said. "I think everything is different. We've learned a lot over the years to get to this point. We had to learn as a team, we really came together and guys are committed to each other."

"We learned from history," Senators coach Bryan Murray added. "I've said that many times, and our guys were ready, after the first period, to play and rebound. It's a real achievement to this point in time because we know we're halfway there. ... You come on the road, you want to get one. To get two is a nice reward for hard work."

Nine of the last 11 postseason games between Ottawa and Buffalo have been decided by one goal.

Spezza collected three assists and Dany Heatley set up two tallies for the Senators, who host Game Three on Monday.

"I think teams have had trouble coming in our building this year and winning, and we feel like we played really well there," Corvo said. "Getting two here, it's really huge."

"We have 24 hours to wrap our heads around it," Miller said. "If they can come in here and steal some games, we're definitely capable of doing it. It'll be up to them to play a cute game for their crowd and make their crowd happy. We just have to simplify and play good hockey."

Emery stopped 34 shots for the Senators en route to his first playoff overtime win in five decisions.

"It's good to get that behind you and overcome some of those little situations just in case it comes up again in the future," Emery said. "You kind of have that under your belt that you know you're capable of doing it."

Miller made 28 saves for Buffalo, which lost for the first time in 47 instances in 2006-07 in which it owned a two-goal lead.

The setback also ended the Sabres' streak of five consecutive playoff overtime wins against the Senators and dropped them to 11-1 when scoring first in the postseason vs. Ottawa.

After falling behind, 2-0, in Game One, the Sabres turned the tables on the Senators in this one as Thomas Vanek and Jochen Hecht scored 2:32 apart early in the first period.

Vanek, who thought he got Buffalo on the scoreboard less than two minutes into the contest only to have the goal waved off after video review, received a cross-slot pass from Maxim Afinogenov in the left circle and slipped around Heatley before beating Emery from the doorstep at 3:41.

Just 1:51 into the opening session, Derek Roy grabbed a loose puck at the right side of the net and fired it into the crease, where it caromed off Vanek's right glove and in. The play was reviewed by video replay officials, who disallowed the tally.

"Vanek was in the act of shooting and his hand came forward," NHL director of hockey operations Kris King said. "We looked hard for all the angles to deem that the puck was off the glove, and indeed it was as he was shooting. Rule 67.6 says that you cannot direct the puck into the net with the glove.

"Goals are allowed if it's a deflection. He was in the act of moving his glove forward, and that is ruled no goal."

Ruff was upset with the ruling but respected the decision.

"You hope to get it right," he said. "That's a tough call. I thought the guys remained focused and went back to work after that, but that's a tough call."

The Sabres continued to apply pressure after Vanek's legitimate goal, and the determination paid off at 6:13. Defenseman Teppo Numminen, who made a crucial giveaway in Game One, unleashed a slap shot from the right point that Emery stopped.

Attempting to clear the puck away from a Sabre in front, the netminder gave it right to Hecht, who deposited it into a vacant net from the right circle for his third tally of the playoffs and a 2-0 bulge.

Seemingly on their way to an embarrassing loss, the Senators regrouped and halved the deficit with 5:38 to go in the first. After getting a step on Dainius Zubrus on the right wing, captain Daniel Alfredsson got a feed from the top of the left circle by Heatley and pushed a shot past Miller for his league-leading eighth of the postseason.

"We were lucky to get the goal from Alfie in one respect because they really stormed early," Murray said. "But the thing that I liked about it was we hung in, and then Alfie scored a goal to get us back on track. I felt after we got that one goal, went into the intermission (down) 2-1, we were in good shape."

Mike Fisher, who scored a shorthander in the series opener, evened the game at 2-2 just over six minutes into the second while on the power play. With only five seconds remaining on Roy's high-sticking penalty, Fisher fired a one-timer from the top of the left circle by Miller for his third playoff goal.

"It's a shot you hope that Ryan makes the save there," Ruff said. "It was from out in the middle of the ice and it just fooled him a little bit."

"Even though we were down 2-0 and they really kind of jumped on us at the start, there's no panic," Emery said. "We're mentally tough enough to play that defensive game until we get back in the game. That's one of the strengths of this team and the reason that maybe we can come back from that."

Vanek nearly restored Buffalo's lead on two occasions later in the middle session. With 7:42 to go, Emery stopped Vanek's shot, but the puck slid toward the goal line before defenseman Christoph Schubert poked it away at the last second.

Just over two minutes later, Emery got his right skate against the left goalpost just in time to deny Vanek's stuff attempt.

With the game apparently headed to the third period deadlocked and Sabres blue-liner Brian Campbell already in the penalty box, Zubrus was called for hooking with 34 seconds remaining.

It took Ottawa just 18 seconds to cash in on the 5-on-3, as Redden one-timed Spezza's pass from the left corner past Miller for a 3-2 edge.

"It's 5-on-3, it's tough to defend," Ruff said. "It was a pass that went through (defenseman Henrik) Tallinder and ended up on Redden's stick for a perfect one-timer."

The tally marked the eighth time in 10 meetings with the Sabres in 2006-07 that the Senators have scored more than once on the power play.








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL IN 2ND OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT 2OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 2 0 0 1 4
    BUFFALO 2 0 1 0 0 3 FINAL IN 2ND OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - THOMAS VANEK 6 (MAXIM AFINOGENOV, DEREK ROY) 3:41
    BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 3 (JASON POMINVILLE, TEPPO NUMMINEN) 6:13
    OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 8 (DANY HEATLEY,

    May 12 11:49 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL OTTAWA 4
    BUFFALO 3
    2ND OT: OTT - JOE CORVO 2 (JASON SPEZZA) 4:58

    May 12 11:46 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL OTTAWA 4
    BUFFALO 3
    2ND OT: OTT - JOE CORVO 2 (JASON SPEZZA) 4:58

    Senators vs. SabresMay 12 11:46 PM
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  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF 1ST OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 2 0 0 3
    BUFFALO 2 0 1 0 3 END OF THE 1ST OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - THOMAS VANEK 6 (MAXIM AFINOGENOV, DEREK ROY) 3:41
    BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 3 (JASON POMINVILLE, TEPPO NUMMINEN) 6:13
    OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 8 (DANY HEATLEY

    May 12 11:21 PM
  • 137
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    Senators vs. SabresMay 12 11:21 PM
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  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 2 0 3
    BUFFALO 2 0 1 3 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - THOMAS VANEK 6 (MAXIM AFINOGENOV, DEREK ROY) 3:41
    BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 3 (JASON POMINVILLE, TEPPO NUMMINEN) 6:13
    OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 8 (DANY HEATLEY, JASON SPEZZA) 14:22
    2ND PRD: OTT

    May 12 10:36 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL OTTAWA 3
    BUFFALO 3
    3RD PRD: BUF - DANIEL BRIERE 3 (TIM CONNOLLY, CHRIS DRURY) 19:54 (WITH
    EXTRA ATTACKER)

    Senators vs. SabresMay 12 10:36 PM
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  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 2 3
    BUFFALO 2 0 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - THOMAS VANEK 6 (MAXIM AFINOGENOV, DEREK ROY) 3:41
    BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 3 (JASON POMINVILLE, TEPPO NUMMINEN) 6:13
    OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 8 (DANY HEATLEY, JASON SPEZZA) 14:22
    2ND PRD: OTT -

    May 12 9:47 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL OTTAWA 3
    BUFFALO 2
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) WADE REDDEN 2 (JASON SPEZZA, DANY HEATLEY) 19:44
    (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Senators vs. SabresMay 12 9:46 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL OTTAWA 2
    BUFFALO 2
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) MIKE FISHER 3 (ANDREJ MESZAROS, TOM PREISSING)
    6:08

    Senators vs. SabresMay 12 9:22 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 1
    BUFFALO 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - THOMAS VANEK 6 (MAXIM AFINOGENOV, DEREK ROY) 3:41
    BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 3 (JASON POMINVILLE, TEPPO NUMMINEN) 6:13
    OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 8 (DANY HEATLEY, JASON SPEZZA) 14:22
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    May 12 8:54 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL OTTAWA 1
    BUFFALO 2
    1ST PRD: OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 8 (DANY HEATLEY, JASON SPEZZA) 14:22

    Senators vs. SabresMay 12 8:43 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL OTTAWA 0
    BUFFALO 2
    1ST PRD: BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 3 (JASON POMINVILLE, TEPPO NUMMINEN) 6:13

    Senators vs. SabresMay 12 8:29 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL OTTAWA 0
    BUFFALO 1
    1ST PRD: BUF - THOMAS VANEK 6 (MAXIM AFINOGENOV, DEREK ROY) 3:41

    Senators vs. SabresMay 12 8:24 PM