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More Hype Than Fight

Saturday, 02.24.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
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More Hype Than Fight
The much anticipated regular season finale between the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators was more hype than fight.

Andrew Peters squared off with Brian McGratton and Adam Mair danced with Chris Neal, but there weren't nearly the number of punches thrown as the amount of pucks that hit the back of the net in Ottawa's 6-5 victory over the Sabres on Saturday night in the Scotiabank Place.

"The media hyped this game up a little too much," said Henrik Tallinder, who scored a pair of goals. "We played a real gutsy game and played with our hearts. We never backed down an inch out there."

The Senators exacted some level of revenge against the Sabres, but it came in the form of three second period goals in a two-minute span to take a 4-1 lead, and not through flying fists.

But even that retribution was short lived.

Skating more like the team that opened the season with 10-straight victories than the team with eight players out of the lineup due to injuries, Buffalo rallied to tie the game 5-5 with nine minutes remaining in regulation.

The Sabres may have taken its first regulation loss since Feb. 2 after Jason Spezza scored his second of the game with four minutes left in regulation, but they walked away with a moral victory in the performance their depleted lineup put forth and without suffering an injury.

"It was a team effort and I think that showed," said Tallinder. "Even though we lost, and it is disappointing, we still won by battling hard.

"We have guys stepping up all over the place. All the guys that have come up from Rochester have done a great job this season."

Tallinder beat goaltender Ray Emery for the second time during the game with a heavy slap shot from the point at 11:35 to record multiple goals in a game for the first time in his career.

"Everyone has to chip in, but don't get used to it," said Tallinder, who has scored 14 goals in his four full NHL seasons.

"We have a great feeling in the locker room. Every night it doesn't matter who we dress, everybody shows up."

Ottawa chased Martin Biron from the Sabres' crease with three unanswered goals in a two-minute span by Dany Heatley, Chris Schubert and Chris Kelly after Thomas Vanek fired wide left on a penalty shot that would have given the Sabres a 2-1 lead at 2:09 of the second.

Biron allowed four goals off 16 shots through a period and a half. Ryan Miller came off the bench in replacement, stopping 19-of-21 shots.

Buffalo tied the game by outscoring Ottawa 4-1 in a 15-minute span starting at 15:33 of the second with goals from Vanek, Tallinder, Derek Roy and Jason Pominville.
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Quotes and audio courtesy of WGR 550-AM, the official radio partner of the Buffalo Sabres.
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