Ottawa 2 – Buffalo 0
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
KANATA, ONT. – The Buffalo Sabres were able to keep Craig Anderson busy for all three periods, but the NHL’s best goaltender was up to the task. Anderson stopped all 42 shots sent his way, as the Ottawa Senators blanked the Sabres 2-0 on Tuesday at Scotiabank Place. Anderson came into the game leading the league in both goals against average (1.49) and save percentage (.950), and both of those numbers were given a bump after stopping the season-high 42 shots fired by the Sabres.
It took a shorthanded goal to open the scoring off the stick of reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson at 15:20 of the second period. Buffalo was on the power play thanks to Mikhail Grigorenko drawing a tripping penalty on Marc Methot behind the Ottawa net. But as the penalty neared an end, Milan Michalek raced down the left wing after grabbing the puck in the neutral zone. He found Karlsson with a pass just inside the blueline, and he beat Ryan Miller with a 31-foot blast from the top of the top of the faceoff circle for his sixth of the season. The Senators extended their lead to 2-0 less than two minutes later. Sergei Gonchar’s point shot was stopped by Miller, but when a trio of Sabres failed to clear the rebound, Erik Condra jumped into the slot to deposit the puck into the open net.
Ryan Miller turned away 29 of 31 Senators shots in the loss, and Buffalo’s penalty killers were a perfect eight-for-eight on the night.
BEHIND THE NUMBERS
The 42 shots were a season high for the Sabres, and the fourth time this season they’ve topped the 40-shot plateau… Buffalo outshot Ottawa 13-7 in the 1st period - breaking an 0-for-6 period streak in being outshot by opponent. (Last - 3rd pd vs. MTL, Feb. 7)… Tonight’s game concluded a stretch of 14 games in 24 days to open the season… The Sabres now have a two-day break between games for the first time since Jan. 22-23… Thomas Vanek was held pointless for the second game in a row. This is the first time he’s been held off the scoresheet in consecutive games since Mar. 12-17, 2012… Dating back to last season, Vanek has 34 points (13+21) in his last 23 games… Sabres are now 3-4-1 against Northeast Division opponents… Buffalo failed in their attempt to win consecutive road games for first time since claiming three straight from Mar. 19-27, 2012… 113th game all-time between Buffalo and Ottawa; Buffalo leads the series with a 56-41-16 record. Buffalo is 26-22-10 against the Senators on the road… Buffalo lost two games in Ottawa in one season for the first time since going 1-2-0 in 2009-10.
Two Sabres reached career milestones on Tuesday. Jochen Hecht played in his 800th career game, while Jordan Leopold appeared in game #600. Hecht becomes the 66th active player to reach the 800-game mark, with 580 of his games coming in a Sabres uniform - ranking him 17th in franchise history. Leopold has now played 164 games with the Sabres since signing as a free agent on July 1, 2010.
Tyler Myers returned to the Sabres lineup after spending the last two games as a healthy scratch… Mikhail Grigorenko was also back after being scratched for Sunday’s game vs. Boston… John Scott, Alexander Sulzer and TJ Brennan were all healthy scratches tonight… Ville Leino (hip, 14 games) remains on IR, having yet to play in a game this season.
BUFFALO’S REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS:
Time on Ice: Christian Ehrhoff, 24:35
Shots: Leopold/Vanek, 5
Blocked Shots: Jordan Leopold, 6
Hits: Ott/Ehrhoff/Foligno, 3
Faceoff Wins: Cody Hodgson, 13
Total Faceoffs: Hodgson, 22 (13-9)
BUFFALO’S RECORD WHEN...
Opponent scoring first: 1-5-1
Tied after the first period: 3-5-1
Trailing after the second period: 1-5-1
Outshooting an opponent: 2-1-1
Overall: 7/52, 13.5%
Road: 1/30, 3.3%
Overall: 50/61, 82%
Road: 34/39, 87.2%
* Friday vs. Boston, 7 p.m.
* Sunday vs. Pittsburgh, 12:30 p.m.
* Tuesday vs. Winnipeg, 7 p.m.