for this game

Heatley, Alfredsson help hand Sabres fifth straight loss

Jan 5, 2008 - 4:58 AM
BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- Ray Emery has been petitioning for more playing time, but he did not help his cause Friday night. Luckily for him, the Ottawa Senators' talented offense bailed him out.

After Emery relinquished a three-goal advantage, Dany Heatley and captain Daniel Alfredsson scored late in the third period to lift the Senators to a 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

Alfredsson added an assist and Jason Spezza netted a tally and set up another for Ottawa, which was coming off consecutive losses to the Washington Capitals.

"They always seem to turn it up a notch when we need them to, definitely a good offensive line," Emery said of the Senators' high-scoring top unit.

The offense staked Emery to a 3-0 lead midway through the second period, but a goaltending change at the other end of the rink sparked a trio of goals by the Sabres that tied the game.

Heatley, however, helped out Emery by tallying his 24th goal of the season with 4:41 left in the third to give Ottawa a 4-3 edge. On a 2-on-1 rush, Heatley unleashed a slap shot that beat goaltender Jocelyn Thibault high to the stick side.

"I think at 3-3, we didn't get totally rattled," Heatley said. "We played as calm as we could in a pretty hostile rink. It felt nice to get that break on the fourth goal."

Alfredsson added insurance when he netted his 25th tally of the campaign, wristing a shot to the short side of Thibault exactly two minutes later.

"Heatley scores a huge goal for us, obviously," Alfredsson said. "They got momentum going, they want to keep going. We end up making a play out of our own end. They wanted to win the game in regulation, and then Heatley (came through) with a great shot."

The Sabres now have lost a season-high five consecutive games.

After Jason Spezza gave the Senators a 3-0 lead with 9:11 left in the second period, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff pulled Ryan Miller - who made 14 saves - in favor of Thibault, and the game's momentum seemed to turn.

Just 15 seconds after Spezza's 15th goal, Thomas Vanek controlled the puck behind the net and made a wraparound pass through the crease to Ales Kotalik, who converted for his 13th tally.

Jochen Hecht cut the deficit to one with 8:29 remaining, when he deflected Jason Pominville's wrist shot from the high slot past Emery.

Less than a minute later, Kotalik nearly tied the contest when he hit the goalpost, looking to sneak one by Emery.

Michael Ryan then got some help from Emery to tie the game at 3-3 with 6:11 left in the final session. Ryan's attempted centering feed from behind the goal line bounced off the netminder's skate and into the net for his third tally of the campaign.

"I don't know if that got the offense going. We scored, we had some opportunities," Ruff said. "Ryan will be the first to say he needs to be a little better on a couple of those. That's the bottom line, you're looking for a spark, you're looking for a reaction. We got a good reaction and scored right away on it, but until that point, we had failed."

Emery finished with 36 saves in his first start since December 22.

"I like playing. It'd be good to just string some games together," said Emery, who has been publicly critical of his amount of playing time this season. "Hopefully, I get a chance to play soon."

"(Emery) did very good. We did a good job keeping them to the outside, mostly," Alfredsson said. "I think the goals, you couldn't do much on them. He played good for us. That's all we need."

Cody Bass' first career goal gave Ottawa an early 1-0 lead at 3:05 of the first period. Defenseman Andrej Meszaros threw a shot at the net from the right point that glanced off Mike Fisher's jersey and was redirected by Bass past Miller.

It took Bass just eight career games to tally. Fisher also extended his career-high points streak to six games with an assist on the play.

"The puck was at the point, me and (Fisher) both went to the net," Bass said. "He tipped it first. Good things will happen when you go to the net."

The Sabres thought they tied the game when Vanek swatted a puck shoulder high past Emery with 2:03 left in the opening session. It immediately was waved off, however, and video review upheld referee Ian Walsh's call.

Meszaros helped the Senators take advantage of a power-play opportunity just 95 seconds into the second period to take a 2-0 edge.

The 22-year-old Czech connected on a rising slap shot from just inside the blue line, catching the left corner of the net. It was his seventh of the season, matching his total from last season.

Spezza gave Ottawa a 3-0 advantage lead when he gathered a rebound just to the left of the crease. With Miller down, he flipped a shot just inside the right post.

Ottawa defenseman Anton Volchenkov returned to the lineup after missing 15 games with a broken finger. He delivered a crushing hit on Daniel Paille midway through the first period, and the Sabres' left wing went to the locker room nursing his jaw and did not return.






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    Senators 5, Sabres 3  FinalMar 4 8:30 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 2 2 5
    BUFFALO 0 1 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - CODY BASS 1 (MIKE FISHER, ANDREJ MESZAROS) 3:05
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) ANDREJ MESZAROS 7 (RANDY ROBITAILLE, ANTOINE
    VERMETTE) 1:35
    OTT - JASON SPEZZA 15 (DANY HEATLEY, LUKE RICHARDSON) 10:49
    BUF - ALES KOTALIK 13

    Jan 4 10:02 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 5
    BUFFALO 3
    3RD PRD: OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 25 (JASON SPEZZA) 17:19

    Senators vs. SabresJan 4 9:58 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 4
    BUFFALO 3
    3RD PRD: OTT - DANY HEATLEY 24 (DANIEL ALFREDSSON) 15:19

    Senators vs. SabresJan 4 9:56 PM
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  • NHL
    OTTAWA 3
    BUFFALO 3
    3RD PRD: BUF - MICHAEL RYAN 3 (DREW STAFFORD, BRIAN CAMPBELL) 13:49

    Senators vs. SabresJan 4 9:50 PM
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  • NHL
    OTTAWA 3
    BUFFALO 2
    3RD PRD: BUF - (PP) JOCHEN HECHT 14 (THOMAS VANEK, JASON POMINVILLE)
    11:31

    Senators vs. SabresJan 4 9:47 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 2 3
    BUFFALO 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - CODY BASS 1 (MIKE FISHER, ANDREJ MESZAROS) 3:05
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) ANDREJ MESZAROS 7 (RANDY ROBITAILLE, ANTOINE
    VERMETTE) 1:35
    OTT - JASON SPEZZA 15 (DANY HEATLEY, LUKE RICHARDSON) 10:49
    BUF - ALE

    Jan 4 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 3
    BUFFALO 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - ALES KOTALIK 13 (THOMAS VANEK, TIM CONNOLLY) 11:04

    Senators vs. SabresJan 4 8:55 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 3
    BUFFALO 0
    2ND PRD: OTT - JASON SPEZZA 15 (DANY HEATLEY, LUKE RICHARDSON) 10:49

    Senators vs. SabresJan 4 8:55 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 2
    BUFFALO 0
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) ANDREJ MESZAROS 7 (RANDY ROBITAILLE, ANTOINE
    VERMETTE) 1:35

    Senators vs. SabresJan 4 8:36 PM
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    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 1
    BUFFALO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - MIKE FISHER 15 (ANDREJ MESZAROS, DEAN MCAMMOND) 3:05
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 11 11
    BUF 9 9
    GOALIES: OTT - RAY EMERY
    BUF

    Jan 4 8:14 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    BUFFALO 0
    1ST PRD: OTT - MIKE FISHER 15 (ANDREJ MESZAROS, DEAN MCAMMOND) 3:05

    Senators vs. SabresJan 4 7:46 PM
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