BUF
21-51-10
OTT
37-31-14

32 SOG
36 SOG

Senators top Sabres on late Michalek goal

Sean Farrell  - NHL.com Correspondent | Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 11:53 PM

OTTAWA -- Milan Michalek and Erik Karlsson helped send the Buffalo Sabres off to the break for the 2014 Sochi Olympics with yet another loss.

Michalek's second goal of the game with 20.9 seconds left in the third helped the Ottawa Senators recover from blowing a two-goal lead and earn a 3-2 home win against Buffalo on Thursday.

Craig Anderson made 30 saves for the Senators, who improved to 4-1-1 in their past six games.

Buffalo (15-34-8) rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie the game at 2-2 on third-period goals by Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford.

"We get a quick goal in the third to make it 2-0 and then I think maybe they turned up the intensity a little bit, and they started to play a little better," Anderson said. "We weathered it pretty good for the most part, and give them credit, they were able to get a couple of goals there, but we found a way to win, and at this point in the year that's all that matters."

Michalek scored the game-winner after taking a feed from Jason Spezza, his wrist shot from the left hash marks beating Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth high to the blocker side.

"We kind of let up and they scored two goals," said Michalek, who will play for the Czech Republic in Sochi. "These games are the toughest to play because they have nothing to lose, and so we are happy we won."

Karlsson, who had a goal and an assist in the Senators' 5-4 shootout win against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, scored his 15th goal at 3:12 of the second period to put Ottawa up 1-0. He fired a wrist shot past Enroth into the top right corner from the top of the far side of the right faceoff circle.

Michalek, who also scored Tuesday, made it 2-0 with his ninth goal 10 seconds into the third period. He slipped behind Buffalo defenseman Jamie McBain to tip home a pass from Spezza on an odd-man rush off the opening faceoff in the third.

"I think we controlled the game from the start and just couldn't really put the puck behind the goalie, and they came back in the end and had us scrambling for a bit," said Karlsson, the Senators' second Olympian, "but we never stopped and just kept going, and it's nice to see [Michalek] scored some goals."

Ennis scored at 10:25 of the third period to pull Buffalo within one. Stafford drew the Sabres even at 2-2 at 15:46 with his 10th goal.

"I thought we worked really hard and we came back from two goals down there in the third period, so it was a really good third period from us, but unfortunately it wasn't enough for us," Enroth said.

Karlsson, who will make his first Olympic appearance for Sweden in Sochi, leads all NHL defensemen with 54 points.

Michalek's first goal was not the fastest to open a period in Ottawa franchise history. That mark is held by Alexandre Daigle, who scored seven seconds into the second period of a 3-3 tie against the New York Islanders on Jan. 22, 1995.

Stafford just failed to click with Ville Leino on the Sabres' best scoring chance of the first period near the 12-minute mark. Leino, who was a healthy scratch for Buffalo's previous two games, fed a pass to Stafford, who got tangled up with McBain as his tipped shot went wide of an open right side.

"Drew's been really good for us for the last month or so, and Tyler Ennis has been the same, but you can't win many games when you have two or three players going good," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said.

Enroth, who will play for Sweden in Sochi, stopped 33 shots for Buffalo, which lost its fourth in a row in its final game before the Olympic break.

"It's frustrating, definitely, so frustrating, but it should be shut down," said Sabres defenseman Henrik Tallinder, who will play for Sweden in Sochi. "Everything in front of our net should have been shut down. We're not quite there. We have to be there, and we're not, so we have a lot to work on."

Enroth and Tallinder will be joined in Sochi by two Sabres teammates, United States goalie Ryan Miller and Latvian center Zemgus Girgensons.

All six Olympians from both teams were introduced to the crowd at the end of the game along with Nolan, who will coach Latvia.

"It's a classy thing," Nolan said. "The players work extremely hard to get to the Olympics. I mean, the Olympics are not like just an ordinary tournament; it's probably the best tournament in the world."

Ottawa (26-21-11) will play its final game before the break Saturday at the Boston Bruins.

"We wanted the points," Karlsson said. "That's what we had played this game for and we just couldn't move on. We play a tough team on Saturday and it's the last game before the break and we're just going to focus on that try and get another two points."

1st2nd3rdT
BUF
OTT
Scoring Summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
03:12OTT Erik Karlsson (15) ASST: Stephane Da Costa (1), Cory Conacher (15) 1 - 0 OTT
3rd Period
00:10OTT Milan Michalek (9) ASST: Jason Spezza (28), Mika Zibanejad (13) 2 - 0 OTT
10:25BUF Tyler Ennis (13) ASST: Drew Stafford (12), Ville Leino (10) 2 - 1 OTT
15:46BUF Drew Stafford (10) ASST: Christian Ehrhoff (21) 2 - 2 Tie
19:37OTT Milan Michalek (10) ASST: Jason Spezza (29), Chris Neil (3) 3 - 2 OTT
Three Stars of the Game
Milan Michalek
1st
Milan Michalek
LW
G: 2Shots: 6
A: 0Hits: 3
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 15:49
Jason Spezza
2nd
Jason Spezza
C
G: 0Shots: 4
A: 2Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 16:51
Tyler Ennis
3rd
Tyler Ennis
G: 1Shots: 9
A: 0Hits: 3
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 22:34
Penalty Summary
1st Period
04:49BUF Matt D'Agostini  Hooking against  Kyle Turris
07:33OTT Chris Neil  Tripping against  Christian Ehrhoff
15:53OTT Marc Methot  Holding against  Cody Hodgson
2nd Period
05:38BUF Philip Varone  Hi-sticking against  Craig Anderson
05:55OTT Kyle Turris  Hi-sticking against  Christian Ehrhoff
09:22BUF John Scott  Slashing against  Eric Gryba
11:13OTT Milan Michalek  Hi-sticking against  Jamie McBain
3rd Period
05:11OTT Bobby Ryan  Too many men on the ice
06:54OTT Erik Karlsson  Tripping against  Ville Leino
19:44OTT Erik Condra  Tripping against  Christian Ehrhoff
shots by period
PeriodBUFOTT
1st711
2nd1313
3rd1212
Total3236
Team Stats
CategoryBUFOTT
Power Plays0/70/3
Hits2937
Faceoff Wins2926
Giveaways1311
Takeaways79
Blocked Shots1113
Penalty Minutes614
  • BUFFALO
  • OTTAWA
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
4J. McBainD00-20021:41
5C. RuhwedelD0001016:27
6M. WeberD00-10016:30
9S. OttC00-10021:29
10C. EhrhoffD0111024:39
19C. HodgsonC00-11016:47
20H. TallinderD00-10014:21
21D. StaffordR1125022:55
23V. LeinoL0111019:10
24Z. KonopkaC00-1107:38
27M. D'AgostiniR00-14215:38
28Z. GirgensonsC00-10016:17
32J. ScottL00-1025:06
37M. EllisL00-1207:33
52A. SulzerD0011019:47
63T. EnnisC1029022:34
65B. FlynnC00-15013:59
84P. VaroneC0001211:47
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
1J. Enroth3336.91759:42
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
2J. CowenD0012023:01
3M. MethotD0010219:55
5C. CeciD0001013:33
6B. RyanR00-15016:43
7K. TurrisC00-10216:43
9M. MichalekL2016215:49
14C. GreeningL0004016:45
15Z. SmithC0000016:45
16C. MacArthurL00-11017:24
19J. SpezzaC0214016:51
22E. CondraR0010211:22
24S. Da CostaC011107:52
25C. NeilR0112213:04
46P. WierciochD00-12013:47
62E. GrybaD0002022:38
65E. KarlssonD1015225:39
89C. ConacherC011107:28
93M. ZibanejadC0100012:37
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
41C. Anderson3032.93859:48