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Girgensons a big contributor, Miller improves to 4-0 in shootouts

Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 11:22 PM / News
By Chris Ryndak  - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak)
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Ryan Miller turned aside 35 Senators shots en route to his fourth shootout victory of the season. The win was Miller\'s 46th career shootout win and with it, he claimed sole possession of the record for most shootout wins in NHL history. Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers has 45.

The Buffalo Sabres shook up their line combinations in practice coming into their matchup against the Ottawa Senators. The changes seemed to pay off.

Tuesday night, the Sabres put 36 shots on goal – matching a season-high – and defeated Ottawa 2-1 in the shootout at First Niagara Center. Zemgus Girgensons scored both Buffalo’s lone goal in regulation and the decisive tally in the top of the 10th round of the shootout.

Ryan Miller turned aside 35 Senators shots en route to his fourth shootout victory of the season. He's 4-0 on the year.

Since the beginning of the 2010-11 season, Miller is 7-4-2 against the Senators with a .940 save percentage and a 2.03 goals against average.

The Sabres improved to 54-41 all-time in shootouts, including a 7-4 all-time record against Ottawa.

Milan Michalek scored for Ottawa, giving them a 1-0 lead 6:25 into the contest. He connected on a cross-ice feed from wing Cory Conacher. Ottawa goaltender Robin Lehner made 35 saves.

Girgensons skated with left wing Matt Moulson and center Tyler Ennis. They led Sabres forwards in ice time in even-strength situations. Girgensons extended his point streak to three games when he tied the game with 6:45 to play in the second period. He has two goals and an assist over that span.

“I think we just worked as a team today. That’s why we came out with the win,” he said. “All the guys were going. Our line was going all the time, we could’ve had a couple more here and our line just clicked here.”

On his goal, Girgensons beat Senators defenseman Joe Corvo to a rebound fired by Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. The puck came right back to Girgensons who put it home on a surprised Lehner.

“I think he’s getting rewarded for his work,” Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. “He’s always worked and good things happen when you do that. Now he’s getting some breaks. Not too often he’s going to get a goal from where he did tonight, but I think it’s a good reward for a kid who’s worked so hard. ”

Buffalo thought they had taken the lead with 4:30 remaining in the second. During a delayed penalty, Sabres defenseman Jamie McBain, from behind the goal line, tossed the puck out toward the front of the net. When the puck reached a flailing Lehner, the official blew the play dead even as the puck crossed the goal line.

The officials gathered by the penalty box twice to review the play, waving it off both times.

“Once they say it’s no goal, it’s no goal. They’re not going to change their mind or the League’s not going to change their mind once, especially a blown call as in blown whistle call,” Sabres captain Steve Ott said. “They can’t reverse it and that’s he thought it was. It’s a judgment call. It could go either way. Next time maybe we get the right break and it helps us out.”

According to Rule 15.1 "When the team to be penalized gains control of the puck, the Referee will blow his whistle to stop play and impose the penalty on the offending player."

The NHL’s Situation Room issued the following statement as part of their review:

“This is not a reviewable play therefore the referee's call on the ice stands. No goal Buffalo.”

Nolan was happy to see his team bounce back the way they did and win it in the shootout.

“That was probably the best part of the game. It was devastating when they called back the goal and you could tell the guys were a little bit deflated, but they overcame it,” he said. “They forgot about it and they moved on. To get a win like that, it was an emotional win for us.”

Miller hopes that when the team faces adversity again in the future, that they’ll be able to draw on an experience like this, where a call didn’t go their way but they were still able to persevere.

“Hopefully guys can remember that something didn’t really go our way and we were able to win still and that can be a positive because there’s too many time this year where negative things happen and we’re like ‘Here we go again,’” Miller said. “Tonight was one where something big could’ve happened for us, could’ve gotten the lead there and it didn’t happen. And we had to find a way, so it was good.”

Buffalo killed off consecutive penalties midway through the first period. Ottawa’s power play went 0-for-3 in the game.

The Senators had played the night before as they the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 in Ottawa. They’ll wrap up a stretch of three games in four nights when they host the Sabres on Thursday to wrap up the home-and-home series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.




1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52


C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82