Girgensons stars as Sabres top Senators in shootout

Joe Yerdon  - Correspondent | Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 11:46 PM

BUFFALO -- Zemgus Girgensons had a goal and scored in the 10th round of the shootout to lift the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-1 win against the Ottawa Senators at First Niagara Center on Tuesday night.

Ryan Miller made 35 saves through regulation and overtime before denying Ottawa on seven of 10 attempts in the shootout. The win snapped Buffalo's three-game losing streak (0-2-1).

"We haven't had a chance to win a lot of games," Miller said. "I want to win some games. So, if this is going to be my opportunity to win a game for any number of games, I got to take it and give these guys some confidence."

Girgensons' goal was the fourth for Buffalo in the shootout. Matt Moulson, Brian Flynn and Steve Ott also beat Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner in the tiebreaker.

"There were a lot of guys shooting," Girgensons said. "I was, I guess, out there as one of the last ones. I've never been a shootout guy before, so it was nice that I got that winner."

The Senators (12-14-6) jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Milan Michalek scored at 6:35 of the first period. Michalek and forward Cory Conacher broke into the offensive zone against Sabres defenseman Henrik Tallinder, and Conacher connected with Michalek with a saucer pass over Tallinder's stick. The goal was Michalek's fifth of the season.

"I thought we came on the road and we got a point, which is good," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "We're still gaining some traction in our game and a lot of things went good for us."

The Sabres (7-22-2) tied the game in the second period when Girgensons scored his third goal of the season at 13:15. The rookie forward chased down the rebound of a Christian Ehrhoff shot to Lehner's right, beating defenseman Joe Corvo to the puck and chopping it past Lehner.

"It looks like he's getting used to the League now," Sabres forward Tyler Ennis said of Girgensons. "It looks like he's getting more and more comfortable. He's playing great. That was a big goal for us and then a great move. People don't think he has good hands, but that was a nice goal in the shootout."

Girgensons played on the team's top scoring line with Ennis and Matt Moulson following interim coach Ted Nolan's changes at practice Monday. The goal was his second in as many games. He had gone 27 games without a goal before scoring Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens.

"It's nice to see him get rewarded for his work," Ehrhoff said. "He scored a great goal last game in Montreal, and tonight [it was] just a working effort that he got rewarded with a bounce. That's what we need."

At 15:30 of the second, the Sabres had an apparent goal disallowed when Senators center Jason Spezza accidentally put the puck past Lehner. There was a delayed high-sticking penalty coming up on Spezza, and the officials ruled the Ottawa captain controlled the puck in swiping it past Lehner, canceling the goal.

"That was probably the best part of the game," Nolan said. "It was pretty devastating when they called back the goal. You could tell they were a little bit devastated. But they overcame it, they forgot about it, and they moved on. To get a win like that is an emotional win for us."

The Sabres fired 18 of 36 overall shots on goal in the second period. The Senators also had 36 shots on goal.

"Anytime I know that you come on the road and get a point, that's usually a pretty good trip," MacLean said. "Did they want two points? Did they expect to get two points? No. We knew we had to come in here and work. We knew this team was going to work and we knew they had a goaltender that it's always a one-goal game against these guys."

The Sabres and Senators will face each other again at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa on Thursday night.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
06:25OTT Milan Michalek (5) ASST: Cory Conacher (4) 1 - 0 OTT
2nd Period
13:15BUF Zemgus Girgensons (3) ASST: Christian Ehrhoff (7) 1 - 1 Tie
3rd Period
OT Period
1BUFMatt Moulson - Goal
2OTTErik Karlsson - Save
3BUFTyler Ennis - Save
4OTTMika Zibanejad - Goal
5BUFCody Hodgson - Missed
6OTTJason Spezza - Missed
7BUFDrew Stafford - Save
8OTTBobby Ryan - Save
9BUFLuke Adam - Save
10OTTCory Conacher - Save
11BUFBrian Flynn - Goal
12OTTKyle Turris - Goal
13BUFSteve Ott - Goal
14OTTMilan Michalek - Goal
15BUFMatt D'Agostini - Save
16OTTPatrick Wiercioch - Save
17BUFMarcus Foligno - Save
18OTTClarke MacArthur - Save
19BUFZemgus Girgensons - Goal
20OTTErik Condra - Save
Shootout Summary
RNDBuffalo SabresOttawa Senators
1Matt MoulsonErik Karlsson
2Tyler EnnisMika Zibanejad
3Cody HodgsonJason Spezza
4Drew StaffordBobby Ryan
5Luke AdamCory Conacher
6Brian FlynnKyle Turris
7Steve OttMilan Michalek
8Matt D'AgostiniPatrick Wiercioch
9Marcus FolignoClarke MacArthur
10Zemgus GirgensonsErik Condra
Three Stars of the Game
Zemgus Girgensons
Zemgus Girgensons
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 0Hits: 3
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 17:31
Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller
SA: 36TOI: 64:55
GA: 1EV: 30-31
PIM: 0PP: 4-4
SV%: .972SH: 1-1
Christian Ehrhoff
Christian Ehrhoff
G: 0Shots: 5
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 28:05
Penalty Summary
1st Period
09:49BUF Matt Moulson  Roughing against  Cory Conacher
12:03BUF Christian Ehrhoff  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
2nd Period
05:25BUF Luke Adam  Tripping against  Kyle Turris
09:14OTT Erik Karlsson  Hooking against  Cody McCormick
15:30OTT Jason Spezza  Hi-sticking against  Luke Adam
18:57OTT Mika Zibanejad  Slashing against  Luke Adam
3rd Period
OT Period
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/30/3
Faceoff Wins3331
Blocked Shots917
Penalty Minutes66
2J. CowenD0001021:26
3M. MethotD0001020:01
4C. PhillipsD0002025:23
6B. RyanR0001019:18
7K. TurrisC0008021:56
9M. MichalekL1005019:56
14C. GreeningC0000014:43
15Z. SmithC0002013:27
16C. MacArthurL0002023:21
19J. SpezzaC0004220:46
22E. CondraR000008:20
25C. NeilR0002011:45
28M. KassianL000103:08
46P. WierciochD0001018:07
65E. KarlssonD0002224:16
77J. CorvoD0003021:16
89C. ConacherC0101012:29
93M. ZibanejadC0000214:38
40R. Lehner3536.97264:44
3M. PysykD0000016:21
4J. McBainD0015026:16
8C. McCormickC000007:31
9S. OttC0002018:45
10C. EhrhoffD0115228:05
19C. HodgsonC0003019:46
20H. TallinderD00-10021:16
21D. StaffordR0000016:40
26M. MoulsonL0005221:20
27M. D'AgostiniR0004014:44
28Z. GirgensonsC1001017:31
32J. ScottL000005:16
44B. McNabbD0000015:48
57T. MyersD00-13022:23
63T. EnnisC0004021:55
65B. FlynnC000008:11
72L. AdamC0002214:34
82M. FolignoL0002017:43
30R. Miller3536.97264:55