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

Fisher's goal helps Senators halt losing streak

Feb 8, 2009 - 5:43 AM
OTTAWA (Ticker) -- Backhand shots appeared to be the requirement in the shootout. The Ottawa Senators managed to be more accurate with theirs.

Mike Fisher scored the decisive goal in the fourth round of the shootout Saturday, leading the Senators to a 3-2 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres.

Nick Foligno and Antoine Vermette tallied in regulation and rookie Brian Elliott made 28 saves for the Senators, who stopped a four-game losing streak (0-3-1) in helping coach Cory Clouston notch his first NHL victory. Ottawa had gone 0-1-1 since Clouston replaced the fired Craig Hartsburg on Monday.

"It feels good," Clouston said. "I'm actually more happy for the guys. They deserved to win. They worked real hard this week. With the improvements we've made, they've come a long way, and they deserve all the credit."

Adam Mair and Drew Stafford scored for Buffalo, which salvaged a point by erasing a 2-0 deficit in the third period.

"The club came out hard at the beginning of the third," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "We came out focused and ready to get back into it with an early goal. When you get a point out of a game like that where you're down two goals, and even give yourself a chance to win, that's all you can ask."

Entering without a win at home in their previous three tries (0-2-1), the Senators appeared on their way to ending the skid in this one.

Following a scoreless first period, Foligno cashed in during a power-play opportunity midway through the second, deflecting defenseman Brendan Bell's shot from the blue line past goaltender Ryan Miller at 10:28 for his eighth goal of the season and second in as many games.

"Bell took a shot and it was deflected by one of their guys just before it got to me," Foligno said. "I just deflected it beneath (Miller's) arm. I was just happy to tip it in and get us up 1-0."

Vermette doubled the lead with 2:52 remaining in the session, firing a wrist shot into the top right corner of the net. Play continued as the officials did not signal a goal, but at the next stoppage, video replay officials awarded Vermette his seventh tally of the campaign.

The two-goal bulge quickly was erased in the third as Tim Connolly sent a pass from above the left faceoff circle to Mair, who redirected it past Elliott from alone on the doorstep just 66 seconds into the period.

"It put us on our heels a little bit," Clouston said.

At 7:25, Stafford raced in on a breakaway and slid the puck by Elliott for a power-play goal, knotting the contest at 2-2.

Following a scoreless overtime, the parade of backhanders began as Jason Spezza failed to convert on Ottawa's first shootout chance. Ales Kotalik lifted his past Elliott to give Buffalo the edge, but Jarkko Ruutu put a backhander by Miller in the second round to tie it.

After Elliott denied Stafford's backhand attempt, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson and Connolly both scored on backhanders in the third round.

"It doesn't work all the time, but we knew we had to be creative," Alfredsson said. "It makes the goalie hesitate a little bit."

"We practiced shootouts at the end of practice yesterday," Clouston said. "It was addressed that we have to give some different looks. We can't be predictable."

Continuing the trend, Fisher slipped the puck past Miller on the Senators' fourth opportunity.

"It seemed it was the move of the night, for sure," Fisher said of the backhanders. "We practiced on it yesterday because we haven't done too well on shootouts this year. It was nice to get that one. We all did fairly well tonight."

Miller was not shocked to see nothing but backhand shots.

"The backhands weren't really a surprise," he said. "Fisher made a good shot. I should've had them with my pad or my blocker. ... I just misread the guys."

Attempting to be different, Derek Roy used a forehand shot but failed as his wrister sailed over the net, clinching the win for Ottawa.

Miller made 40 saves for the Sabres, who had won three of four.

"Ryan has been solid for us," Roy said. "He really takes it hard when he loses, especially in a shootout. It's a tough loss, for sure."








  • NHL
    FINAL IN SHOOTOUT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0 2 0 (2) 2
    OTTAWA 0 2 0 0 (3) 3 FINAL IN SHOOTOUT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) NICK FOLIGNO 8 (BRENDAN BELL, JASON SPEZZA) 10:28
    OTT - ANTOINE VERMETTE 7 (UNASSISTED) 17:08
    3RD PRD: BUF - ADAM MAIR 6 (TIM CONNOLLY, MATT ELLIS

    Sabres 2, Senators 3  Final - 2OTFeb 7 9:52 PM


  • NHL
    END OF OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0 2 0 2
    OTTAWA 0 2 0 0 2 END OF OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) NICK FOLIGNO 8 (BRENDAN BELL, JASON SPEZZA) 10:28
    OTT - ANTOINE VERMETTE 7 (UNASSISTED) 17:08
    3RD PRD: BUF - ADAM MAIR 6 (TIM CONNOLLY, MATT ELLIS) 1:06


    Feb 7 9:46 PM
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    Sabres 2, Senators 2  OT - 4:55Feb 7 9:40 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0 2 2
    OTTAWA 0 2 0 2 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) NICK FOLIGNO 8 (BRENDAN BELL, JASON SPEZZA) 10:28
    OTT - ANTOINE VERMETTE 7 (UNASSISTED) 17:08
    3RD PRD: BUF - ADAM MAIR 6 (TIM CONNOLLY, MATT ELLIS) 1:06
    BUF - (PP) DREW STAFFORD

    Feb 7 9:39 PM
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    Sabres 2, Senators 2  3rd - 2:29Feb 7 9:34 PM
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    Sabres 2, Senators 2  3rd - 2:29Feb 7 9:33 PM
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    Sabres 2, Senators 2  3rd - 4:28Feb 7 9:30 PM
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    Sabres 2, Senators 2  3rd - 8:25Feb 7 9:22 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    OTTAWA 2
    3RD PRD: BUF - (PP) DREW STAFFORD 15 (DEREK ROY, JASON POMINVILLE)
    7:25

    Sabres 2, Senators 2  3rd - 12:35Feb 7 9:17 PM
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    Sabres 2, Senators 2  3rd - 12:35Feb 7 9:17 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    OTTAWA 2
    3RD PRD: BUF - ADAM MAIR 6 (TIM CONNOLLY, MATT ELLIS) 1:06

    Sabres 1, Senators 2  3rd - 18:54Feb 7 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0 0
    OTTAWA 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) NICK FOLIGNO 8 (BRENDAN BELL, JASON SPEZZA) 10:28
    OTT - ANTOINE VERMETTE 7 (UNASSISTED) 17:08
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 11 7

    Feb 7 8:47 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 0
    OTTAWA 2
    2ND PRD: OTT - ANTOINE VERMETTE 7 (UNASSISTED) 17:08

    Sabres 0, Senators 2  2nd - 2:52Feb 7 8:42 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 0
    OTTAWA 1
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) NICK FOLIGNO 8 (BRENDAN BELL, JASON SPEZZA) 10:28

    Sabres 0, Senators 1  2nd - 9:32Feb 7 8:28 PM
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    Sabres 0, Senators 1  2nd - 9:32Feb 7 8:28 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0
    OTTAWA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 11 11
    OTT 12 12
    GOALIES: BUF - RYAN MILLER
    OTT - BRIAN ELLIOTT

    Feb 7 7:50 PM
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